What Does Beowulf Mean

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When reading the epic of Beowulf many specific details lie in the text and seem to be seeking some type of further analytical reading. From page to page and even line to line the challenge of what is real and symbolic is drastic. Quotes in the book can be construed, taken, and challenged on so many levels. I chose to specify on three different parts of the text and challenge the portrayed meaning into, what I thought was, the symbolic and emotional meaning. I chose the three battles between Beowulf and Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Dragon; when reading these sections I felt that so much emotional and symbolic weight lied behind the battles and was showing gradually Beowulf expressing human traits as to his warrior like ways. It wasn’t…show more content…
It is the battle in which he is seeking to show he is capable of being king; that he would make a good king. And although I agree with that completely, I also feel there is more to what he is battling for. In this battle there is a lot more biblical references in the preparation of the battle, and throughout, this gives me the sense Beowulf is challenging something more. Not that he is challenging his faith because due to the time period religion is not formed, but Beowulf is challenging something higher then himself. The community around him has welcomed him and it is not his duty to protect them, Beowulf and the civilization he was protecting knew he was capable of being king, but Beowulf seemed to be searching for validation of his morality, validity that he was doing right. I feel the main part of the text is his failure with the sword, “, the shining blade refused to bite. It spared her and the man in his need.” (105, line 1523), he now is in some sense cornered as to what to do. Being the warrior and the man that he is “he never lost heart.” (107, line 1530), and something bigger than himself came to help the warrior, Beowulf then knew something above him was on his side. It was as if then at this point he was secure in what he was doing and comfortable to move forward, not only in the battle but in his soon ruling the land. I feel this battle was the battle that pushed the fact of…show more content…
Truth be told, I feel the whole battle is symbolic for his overall battle with morality. It was a Beowulf that was never shown before in the text, a completely human figure. Something more was lying in this battle; Beowulf showed anxiety before the battle and was “sensing his death.” (165, line 2419), showing his human-like sense of fear. Beowulf was being challenged by something larger than he ever had before and was aware of his chances of falling. He was at a point where his challenge was not the actual battle but recognizing that it was the end, “; what was is no more.” (167, line 2458); Beowulf was faced with human challenges as to challenges of a warrior which makes me feel like the whole battle was a battle within himself. The dragon was his morality and human instinct, and presenting more challenge than any battle has before because it wasn’t as simple as victory or defeat. The battle was like an overview of all Beowulf has done and will now no longer do, it was testing to see his pride and grace in the action of falling, as a human not a warrior. This battle showed the ladder effect of how in each battle Beowulf became a little more human like, until he completely strayed away from his warrior like ways emotionally. This battle made the epic have more personal attachments to the reader in a sense that when in great success it is if we as humans are invincible but when faced with failure our

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