Beowulf Tone Analysis

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Beowulf Tone Analysis In Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel, the description of the strange, mysterious wood has a magical quality to it that demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon view of the fear of unknown evil in the environment. The horrible, swampy wood where Grendel’s mother lives is a gloomy environment. The wood is seen by most as an evil place because of the creepy and isolated outer appearance, an example of a society where the people believe in the stereotype that dark forests are filled with evil and danger. The wood describes a “dark” and “secret” place that is filled with “windy cliffs”, adding to the mysticism and overall eerie effect of the environment. The portrayal of the eerie wood indicates an unwelcome place, especially as it is widely known by the people to inhabit evil monsters in the form of Grendel and his mother. To the Anglo Saxons, who valued peace and home virtues, the dismal wood takes them away from everything they know. Even the trees in the wood are undesirable, described as being “covered with frozen spray” and that the roots “wind down snakelike”. These trees are not an endearing sight to the Anglo Saxons who do not understand the dreary way the trees are “covered”. Anglo Saxons are not sheltered or “covered” like this wood, they fight for personal freedom. The “snakelike” roots of the tree represent a sly, threatening atmosphere that the Anglo Saxons did not enjoy. They believe in honor and truth and so it is understandable why they would not trust in a nature so far from what they represent. This departure from goodness constitutes evil to society and when it storms “as black as the rain that the heavens weep” the Anglo Saxons believe God literally disapproves of this wood because God is the ultimate symbol of righteousness. The Anglo Saxons stand for a society that is very definite in knowing who they are and what they want to
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