Friday, October 31, 2014

Essay for Week 11: Beowulf

This week I read the epic Beowulf in in the British Isle section of the un-textbook. The reason I chose this story was because I remember having to read the whole poem in high school.  I am most familiar with this story, and reading it again was great. Beowulf is one of the better epics that exist today. What makes the story so good is that you get a powerful story in only about 15,000 words or so.

Beowulf reminds me of Odysseus in some ways. Both of them are heroes and kings of their land. People depended on them to lead, and overcome the obstacles in the say. There are some key differences in the two that I believe. Odysseus is more of a genuine leader, I believe, and Beowulf was appointed leader because of his natural skills. Beowulf was more known for his brute strength and ability to fight, and Odysseus mostly used his wit to defeat monsters. One could argue that Odysseus was better of the two because he didn’t die, but I don’t even want to go there. I think both heroes at O are great.

In Beowulf, I was excited to see him defeat Grendel and his mother. He literally saved a lot of people from the horrible monster. It was an extreme disappointment when he died by the dragon. I was not even expecting it, and it was a very tragic death. I think that Beowulf should have not went to slay the dragon. He already proved himself enough and killing the dragon was overkill in my opinion.  Overall I really enjoyed the story of Beowulf, and I can add it in my collection of hero stories, I wonder if there are any other stories that feature Beowulf on some other adventures I would love to read them if they did.

Grendel by J. R. Skelton
More info: Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you enjoyed Beowulf so much! I have tried to read it before, and I couldn't get past how old the storytelling style felt. I completely agree with you that Beowulf shouldn't have died. When a person tells a story, they make a contract with the reader, and killing the main character breaks that contract. It typically makes for a very unsatisfying ending.