Beowulf And Human Nature

1092 Words5 Pages
In a tale of epic proportions, where gruesome monsters meet valiant heroes, it is a surprise that human nature is a topic that is expressed so excellently in Beowulf. The reader is introduced to multi-dimensional characters that possess god-like strengths, but also typical human-like mistakes. These mistakes are what make Beowulf so relevant and relatable to the common man and are what acknowledge the age old saying that nobody’s perfect. Even Beowulf, the superhuman man who could kill a monster with his bare hands is susceptible to these weaknesses. Human flaws are portrayed numerous times through characters in the poem, by both monster and by man. The vast array of human qualities found in this poem far exceed any expectations and add another facet to the already intricately woven character developments found throughout Beowulf. Human qualities and emotions such as fear, jealousy, and sadness are some of the many that are fluently discussed in this epic tale, where outlook on human character takes center stage. Fear, a human quality that plagues everyone, is depicted in a vulnerable and unrefined way in Beowulf. The reader is introduced to fear at its upmost level, the fear that accompanies an experience bound to end in death and destruction. That fear triggers a natural human response, the fight or flight response, the latter being the more customary choice. In Beowulf, the noble Geats are faced with a dangerous situation in which they ultimately abandon their leader in his hopeless battle against the dragon. “None of his comrades/Came to him, helped him, his brave and noble/Followers; they ran for their lives, fled/Deep in a wood” (35.2596-9). The Geats chose to flee instead of standing beside Beowulf and supporting him. Many would call them cowards but as humans it is hard to blame them for their actions. It is easy enough to say that an individual will be

More about Beowulf And Human Nature

Open Document