Why do you think was it necessary for Beowulf to die at the end of the epic? (consider: how would it have otherwise altered the story?) Do you think it was necessary for him to die?
*This should be a full, thoughtful response. Vague, generic, or excessively brief responses will receive a grade of no more than a 50.
This blog is due no later than 8am Wednesday October 24.
It was without a doubt necessary for Beowulf to die at the end of this tragic epic. Any other ending would reflect diminutively inconsistent to the rest of the epic as a whole since the whole story is leading up to Beowulf being the most important hero of Beowulf’s people population. An Anglo-Saxon hero must be willing to die for glory and honor. Beowulf vocalized this willingness right before his fight with the dragon. The ending of this epic made Beowulf good off his boast, and propelled him to an almost “godly” status which makes him a hero of the past worthy of praise and acknowledgment for future generations. Some of the best, most memorable films and literature result in the hero’s death ex. Old Yeller, The Gladiator, Braveheart, etc. (Just think about how much more memorable The Last Samurai would have been if Tom Cruise would have died like everyone else.) Beowulf wasn’t just some hero, he was the ultimate hero. Jesus Christ was the authentic ultimate hero of the whole world. So, in order to try and achieve the level of importance and divinity of the ultimate hero Jesus was, Beowulf must make an ultimate sacrifice. Anything other than death would diminish Beowulf’s heroic makeup. In a way, this final scene with the death of Beowulf symbolizes and alludes to the death of Jesus on the cross, creating the ultimate ending.ReplyDelete
Beowulf is an epic story and all epic stories eventually take the form of The Epic Story. Up till fighting the dragon, Beowulf had given much to the Danes and the Geats and even more to the goal of eradicating evil once and for all. He had not only killed the evil Grendel, but he had pursued the problem to its root by killing Grendel’s mother. In this act we see the desire to end evil at its source. That is the goal thrust upon Beowulf because of the heroic abilities he happens to have. He is, in a sense, The Chosen One. However, near the end of the story we learn that eradicating evil is not as easy as Beowulf once hoped. Despite his incredible efforts the existence of evil continues. What does it take to eradicate evil? The Bible gives a good suggestion. In the end of this epic poem, Beowulf is called upon to pay the ultimate price for his countrymen, his own life. He willingly goes through with this self-sacrifice and symbolically eradicates the evil in the Anglo-Saxon world. In this act he also cements his own role as a Christ figure. Beowulf had to die because the only way to eradicate evil is for the best of mankind to give his life.ReplyDelete
Beowulf, in the epic poem, needed to die in the end, but not for the reasons most would assume. It was necessary for him to die for one key reason: for Wyglaf to take on the next cycle of heroism. Beowulf was undoubtedly the Christ figure throughout the novel. He was the beloved right hand man of Hygelac who gave up a season of his life in order to help purge a defenseless land from evil. But did Beowulf truly end the story as the Christ figure? At first glance, it would appear so, until one reads the song of the messenger which foretells how war will soon descend on the land and destroy it. Because Beowulf's hubris caused him to fight a dragon without proper preparation, his death would lead to the fall (or at least weakening) of Geatland. So why would the author end the poem on such a tragic note? The only reason would be to transfer the role of the Christ figure onto a new and worthy man, Wyglaf. Wyglaf nobly risked life and limb in order to protect his lord Beowulf. This selfless act is reminiscent of Beowulf's risking his own life to aide Hrothgar. The role of the Christ figure, as well as the cycle of the hero, is reborn into a younger version of ancient Beowulf. Beowulf's death was necessary, not to eradicate evil, but to show how as one hero leaves the earth, another will rise up to take his place, despite the seemingly insurmountable odds against him. If the author had never killed off Beowulf, the epic would have ended most depressingly: with a dead king and a defenseless land. But because of Beowulf's death by dragon, Wyglaf gained the knowledge, experience, and bravery to be able to bear the heavy burden of future war and impending doom.ReplyDelete
The death of Beowulf was necessary to the plot of this story. His death illustrates the final fall of the model of the epic hero in this poem. Beowulf had completed the cycle of the rise and fall of the hero earlier on in the poem however to a much lesser extent. For example, he arrived and fought Grendel and was victorious over him. Beowulf was then rewarded and then a new threat appears, Grendel's mother. These events were just a build up to the final battle, which is always the greatest and most extravagant, and led to the demise of our hero Beowulf. His death was also the most important to carry on his legacy as the champion of the Geats. As we have discussed in class, Beowulf was a very prideful man and would boast on his great deeds in order to declare his fame. He would do anything to carry on his name in the future to be remembered, including death. It is also true that those who die for a just cause by standing in the face of danger and certain destruction are remembered longer as heroes. This is the image that Beowulf wanted to cast upon himself. It is almost as if he only wanted to slay the dragon in order to boast even more about himself. Beowulf's pride was also his downfall.ReplyDelete
I believe it was necessary for Beowulf to die, so that he may die a hero. Beowulf was always trying to prove himself and gain more honor through fighting. For instance, he wished that when he fought the dragon, that he could fight it with his hands and gain more glory (for if he killed the dragon without any weapons, the people would be more enthralled in how he killed the dragon in a difficult way.) Beowulf was always looking for glory, and he gained it at the end by battling a dragon. If Beowulf had died of old age on his bed, the people would have loved him and would mourn. But since Beowulf died by protecting his people, the people thought of him as a hero even more, and they mourned greatly. And if Beowulf didn't die by the dragon but by another cause, then who would be the ruler? Wiglaf was put in charge because of his bravery towards protecting Beowulf. But since Beowulf didn't have any kin, if Beowulf had died another way then there might have been a power struggle to gain the throne. If Beowulf didn't die at the end, then the ending would drastically change.ReplyDelete
Beowulf's inevitable death was a necessary component in the creation of this epic poem. Without his final death, the poem would be left open ended. We wouldn't know the rest of the story line. Obviously the author couldn't end the story with, "Beowulf defeated the dragon and they all lived happily ever after!" What kind of tragic epic poem is that? The death of Beowulf completes the poem... as morbid as that sounds. He had to die in order for a new hero to arise, Wiglaf. Beowulf completes the rise and fall cycle of a hero. Beowulf sacrifices his life multiple times for the Geats. He dies with courage and pride, like any Anglo-Saxon hero, encouraging his only faithful soldier to look after his people. This leaves Wiglaf with a chance to fulfill his duties as the new leader of the Geats. If Beowulf survived his battle with the dragon, where does that leave the story? The tragedy of his death makes the poem that much more emotional. It draws the reader in and makes them also mourn his devastating death.ReplyDelete
Despite what some may say, Beowulf`s death was NOT inevitable, nor would it have left the poem "open ended." The storytellers through the centuries could have easily let Beowulf live on and continue to be a hero through all the ages. But they didn`t. Why would orators keep Beowulf`s death when the change of a small bit at the very end of the poem would have let Beowulf live? Well, here it goes. As we have learned throughout the novel, there is a STRICT "rubric" for the Anglo-Saxon hero. If Beowulf would have been portrayed as small, the Anglo-Saxons would discredit is heroism. If Beowulf were humble, Grendel would have been a more heroic figure. If Beowulf were weak, he would dissapoint the classic crowd. IF BEOWULF WERE INVINCIBLE, he would NOT be an Anglo-Saxon hero. The Anglo-Saxons had it right. If one is invincible, it discredits all heroic acts. It discredits all courage. What does he have to lose? So, we should have expected Beowulf`s death near the end of the poem. It is the ultimate completion of Beowulf`s heroism.ReplyDelete
Beowulf died to fulfill the cycle that most epic poems adhere to. Beowulfs death marked the ulitmate fall of a hero. Without belwulfs deat the story would have been continueable. An epic story needs an ending and the death of beowulf is the end of the story.ReplyDelete
(I cant tyDelete
Type if i touch my screen) beowulfs death also cleared the way for the next king of the geats. The cycle of a heros journey is fineally ended with the death of beowulf.ReplyDelete
No i do not think it was neccessary for Beowulf to die at thr end of the story. However, I do think it was a better idea for him to die than have him not die. By choosing to have him die at the end he brought a more dramatic close to the story. Had he not died the story would have completely changed and have shifted tone and ruined the mood of the epic. So no it was not neccesary for him to die but it was a more efficent ending to the story.ReplyDelete
Was it neccesary for Beowulf to die at the end of the epic poem? Yes. The epic is entitled "Beowulf". This implies that the epic is about the whole (adult) life of the main character, Beowulf. The epic would not be complete if Beowulfs death was not included. This was a true end to the story of Beowulf. The epic made it apparent that it was the absolute end by crushing any hope for a sequel. The way it does this is by discontinuing the line of Beowulfs family. The Beowulf era was a brief 50 years in the stories history that came and went and then ended the book. If the epic would not have ended with the death of Beowulf then it would have created loose ends at the close of the epic. There would be no definant end to the actual story. With the death there is a solid and obvious end to the story and the epic.ReplyDelete
It was very necessary for beowulf to die at the end of the story. Throughout the whole story you see the foreshadowing of his fall "hubris". In the first episode he wanted no help, armor, or a weapon. Same as in the second when he goes to fight gredels mom. He went to kill his mother by himself. The third act was completely different however. He went with men and gave them armor but the foreshadowing came to fruition. In his final time of need his help was no where to be found. The end of the epic would have been pointless. For the hubris and the foreshadowing to have any point at all he really had to die. If he just skipped into the sunset with his marry band of soldiers then it wouldn't have been very "epic". To fulfill and complete his acts of heroism it was necessary for him to die for his country men and save the Geat people from the dragon. The idea that was evident to me that beowulf was the messiah or christ figure to the people and died for the transgressions of the thief. It was all around needed for beowulf to die at the end of the story.ReplyDelete
I was necessary for Beowulf to die at the end of the epic. Since it is named after Beowulf, the audience would probably assume that the epic poem would be about the life of Beowulf. It was a good way to end the poem, however sad it may be. It couldn't have just ended the poem after he celebrated and was King for 50 Winters. If that would have been the case then he wouldn't have fought the dragon. If he would have lived, we would have been wondering if he ever got into another battle with some other creature and been the most honored hero yet again. The death marked the end of the poem and it didn't leave the audience wondering much. So yes, the death of Beowulf was necessary.ReplyDelete
I do not think it was necessary for Beowulf to die at the end of this story. I do, however, think that it added an immense amount of drama and suspense. Throughout the entire dragon scene, I found myself on the edge of my seat, wondering if this could really be the end for this hero. This is the kind of effect an epic poem should have on a reader. If Beowulf would have, once again, conquered the enemy, it would have been too predictable and, well, boring. Along with this, when he dies, it makes all of his other victories so much stronger. This is because, if he were just a beast who easity conquered all, it would be neither great nor suprising when he won every single battle. Since this fight showed that he is capable of losing, we, as readers, can infer that the battles he had previously fought in weren't as easy for him as we thought. I think this is why he died.ReplyDelete