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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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From Berserker To Knight of the Christian Order/ to King (Essay Sample)


Use the Epic poem Beowulf, talks about the [transformation of his character (moral character)]
[the heroic]
Use quotes to support Beowulf is heroic and anti-heroic
Variations on this topic
Notional of Fate (pagan) = does it alter as the epic progresses?
(from fight with Grendel to the dragon)
Why does it change? Does it alter to being with? Yes on the outlook of Beowulf
at first Beowulf Ignores Fate...let it unwind as you must
Beowulf’s moral character
Reputation maintained?
Fate vs. God’s Plan for the world
See Hrothgar's “sermon”
Warrior Code (of loyalty) warrior to leader vs. a world of uncertainty & fear
(Religious topic) -- tension between the christianity (judeo christian value of bible)
Virtues of christianity = giving of treasure,, attention to followers, humility vs. seeking of glory as a warrior to be remembered as such
Could compare and contrast achilles and Beowulf
Digressions of Beowulf - seem to be unrelated departures from the main narrative, but actually do relate of and enrich the main story
Needed for your essay
Topics --- turn to a main point/ thesis statement/ claim
Express clearly about the change in Beowulf’s character through the changes that occur
Don’t leave of on the descriptive level
Topic and your opinion on the topic
Do the writing as you see it and see what you come up with
4-5 pages
Quotes from Beowulf 4-5


There are poems that satisfy the old English literature format and style. Most of these poems have their roots based in the European region inhibiting the European vernacular style. Beowulf is one of the poems from the above generation; the epic heroic poem follows the life of the Beowulf whose events and occurrence of the tale are believed to have been from the early 6th century. It was written with no title only to be given Beowulf as the title later as the hero character and exploits were connecting the poem theme. Below text is going to look at the various attributes that changes Beowulf character throughout the poem.
Formation of Beowulf Character
Beowulf opens in Denmark observing king Hrothgar's hall that has been disturbed by Grendel an evil monster for over 12 years. At night, the evil monster would pick Hrothgar's warriors to go eat them. Unexpectedly a prince of the Geats arrives from Southern Sweden. The young prince Beowulf comes with only a small band of men (retainers) and promises the king to destroy the evil monster. Although astonished by the guts and courage of the young man, Hrothgar agrees to the requests since he had no option for more than 12 years. After a feast to welcome the daring move by the young man, they all retire to their beds only for that night the evil monsters to come and devour one of newly arrived Geats men. He then fights with Beowulf. He struggles and finally sets himself free but mortally wounded.
The next day the Grendel's mother visits the Heorot at night but this time it is to revenge her wounded son. She manages to kill one soldier belonging to Hrothgar troop. Come daylight Beouwolf seeks for revenge and goes out to the caves and at the bottom of a mere, he finds her and kills her. He then cuts off Grendel's head and takes back to Heorot. There is yet another victory feast, and Beowulf is accorded a heroic farewell, enriched with princely gifts and honors. He finally returns home to his king Hygelac of Geats. The second parts show how Beowulf becomes king after the death of the Hygelac. He rules peaceful until the dragon that breathed fire invades his land and the aging Beowulf avenges it. The long painful battle ends with a victorious wounded Beowulf.
Beowulf Character
At a glance, Beowulf portrays character traits of an epic hero. Epic heroes uphold the traits of loyalty, strength n courage. There are virtues of morality, freedom, and justice also depicted by the main character. His greatest flaw as shown by the poem is his quest for more and more glory. For example even after he had defeated Grendel and the evil mother and become king of Geats, he still wanted to prove himself and at his old age, he was fighting the fire-breathing dragon. This quest for glory is what leads to his death.
The poem displays Beowulf heroism in two ways that is in his youth and at his old age, in between, there is a period of fifty years. There is also the display of heroism through the poem shown by the accounts of the three fights or conflicts in the tale: fight with Grendel, evil Grendel's mother and the dragon at his old age. The three conflicts can

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