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Comparing Beowulf And Paradise Lost Essay

2659 words - 11 pages

The key character in the poem Beowulf, is a heroic and a legendary character whose actions are embodied to the Anglo-Saxon culture. As a hero he has the accepted and the most ideal characteristics that are accepted in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The tale revolves around these characteristics to make up an epic tale. Beowulf is moulded to possess the virtues, traits and beliefs that were highly respected and requires in the Anglo-Saxon culture. Therefore, is displayed to have these virtues in his own actions and words during different circumstances in the tale.
Reading Beowulf brings out lots of similarities with many pieces of literature from the Ancient Greek and the Modern literature. The ...view middle of the document...

26). This depicts the presence of a superior being and the subjects who must follow certain rules to be in favour of a superior being. In the epic poetry, Milton to help him in his efforts, specifically calling upon the Spirit, which situates the poem in a Christian context. The poem also expresses another immortal being that exists in hell called Satan. Satan had an army of fallen angels that were chained to a lake of fire after rebelling against superior being and were cast out of Heaven. The Paradise Lost begins with the classical invocation of the muse, contextualizes this through use of Christianity by borrowing the aspect of the trinity aspects of God, rather than a classical muse. The story comprises of hero and antihero who is none other than Satan. The author invites the reader to evaluate the established notions of heroes and what constitutes heroism. Because the Paradise Lost is a Christian epic, it affirms to the Christian values such as compassion and faith. On the other hand, casting Satan as a militant leader, full of eloquence and cunning, the author invites the reader to consider that such attributes are not necessarily heroic.

Beowulf is the key main character in the Anglo-Saxon epic, He is a representative of youthfulness, vigour, strength, and perseverance who can be compared to the Jesus in Paradise Lost. The first lines of the poem states "Without a leader; so the Lord of Life, The glorious Almighty, made this man renowned. Shield had fathered a famous son”(Beowulf 16-17). This statement sounds like the author was comparing Beowulf to Christ in the Paradise Lost. Beowulf is not self-centred and he willingly sacrificed himself in his final battle to have Geatland live on forevermore. The fact that Beowulf had minor problems with beating Grendel and his mother that provoked this battle, he was supposed to meet his match when by taking on the dragon, that not provoke the fight. it is obvious from Beowulf’s many words, that he could not identify himself as unique human with some special powers. He was only aware that he risksed so much and he could at any time fail to survive the battle. He was so humble and was prepared to leave his legacy behind and take care of his family back in Geatland.The same case happens to the Pradise Lost when Jesus gave up his life to save the humankind. It is apparent that the promise of one’s word was as binding back then and it was adhered to by all. The same case is evident in the Paradise Lost when Jesus offered himself to be sacrificed when he was crucified by the Romans for crimes against the emperor.
The use of imagery to differentiate between the good and evil gives a very foreboding quality to the two stories. The use of shadows and darkness in the cave by the author and the essence of the bright light that appears when Beowulf saves another day is an example of contrasting good and evil. In both the stories, the use of light and darkness to represent good and evil is highly used...

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