Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beowulf: on the paragraph

Post your paragraphs from class today on here. These should demonstrate sophistication in writing, thought, and choice of evidence. If you learn these skills on a smaller scale (i.e., a paragraph at a time), you will have an easier time crafting an entire well-written essay.

This blog is due no later than Friday, October 19 at 8am. 

*you may NOT use a blog pass for this assignment*

18 comments:

  1. The two characteristics which are depicted and characterized by every Anglo-Saxon hero are two things: One must be a physically powerful individual; the Anglo-Saxon hero must be mentally aware and intelligent. However, there is a third characteristic that Beowulf has: control. Beowulf both is and represents an Anglo-Saxon hero perfects. It’s no secret that Beowulf is a very physically powerful individual. He is known throughout the land for his heroism in the ocean, in which he fought great the sea monsters. (P. 37-39) Beowulf embodies physically what all heroes are expected to in the Anglo-Saxon stories. He is mentally courageous; he has magnificent feats of strength with story upon story to back up the claims. One in particular, Grendel (an extremely powerful creature) was found in a handgrip “harder than anything he had ever encountered in any man on the face of the earth.” (P. 51) He is also mentally aware and intelligent which also is a must for Anglo-Saxon hero as well as most heroes in general. Beowulf also embodies a hero through his moral integrity. However, Beowulf is somewhat prideful and arrogant, isn’t that a flaw? After all, we see Beowulf speak in a way the contemporary human would call “boasting” all through pages 37-39. According to Germanic heroic code, pride, is often accepted and appropriate and with all the incredible feats Beowulf has accomplished, his arrogance and pride is actually a positive quality at the moment. Beowulf’s pride allows him to be courageous and dare to do things others wouldn’t (this might foreshadow his downfall though as well, so we shall see). Another reason for Beowulf’s “boasts” was the fact that, that’s what one did in the Mead Hall. There was no technology; so therefore, story-telling was the form of entertainment. Beowulf only told the story about Grendel after the king Hygelac asked Beowulf to (P. 235-236). Also, Beowulf told the story about the sea fight only after his character and reputation was challenged by the very envious Unferth (P. 36-37). Even the speaker agrees that, “Beowulf bore himself with valor; he was formidable in battle yet behaved with honor and took no advantage; never cut down a comrade who was drunk, kept his temper and, warrior that he was, watched and controlled his God-sent strength and his outstanding natural powers.” (P. 149) Also, the speaker goes on to say that Beowulf was once thought poorly of his fellow Geats because of his abnormal mannerly approach to heroism and conduct. After his accomplishments however, the Geats accepted and embraced Beowulf for being passive yet, very direct at the same time. Loyalty, respect, and courtesy are a must for Anglo-Saxon heroes and Beowulf embodies each perfectly. The fact that Beowulf had complete control of his power and attitude as well is just “icing on the cake” and goes beyond even the Germanic Code of expectations for a hero. He has a strong personality, and it pays off. So with both being physically powerful, having moral integrity, and being in complete control in every aspect, Beowulf embodies the perfect Anglo-Saxon hero and a more perfect hero in general.

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  2. The Anglo-Saxon hero is an incredibly strong, fearless, brave, honorable, vicious, almost supernatural, intelligent beast of a man and also seems to lack a healthy fear of death. Throughout the novel the author uses laudatory language, both from the narrator and Beowulf himself, to impress upon the reader the heroic nature that surrounds Beowulf. We first find out about the great hero Beowulf when he arrives in Denmark after being Grendel has began his reign of terror. Immediately we learn in 216 that "There was no one else like him alive." Anglo-Saxon heros were one of a kind; not every meaty warrior fit the bill (cough, cough Unferth). In this general area of the poem we see another attribute of the Anglo-Saxon hero, honor. Beowulf is not asked, forced, or coerced into helping the Danes, but does so because he has the ability to. This selflessness is a heroic motif reflected in many aspects of the book, most notable whenever Beowulf confronts a vile monster (Grendel, Grendel's mother, the dragon). Out and out humility, it seems, is NOT a necessary quality of an Anglo-Saxon hero. Beowulf repeatedly refers to himself as "most renowned son of Halfdane", "awesomely powerful", and "the mightiest of men". While these statements do give us a better idea of Beowulf's power and heroism, they also show that there may be some fatal-flaw pride going on. An Anglo-Saxon hero also desires and values revenge over all else. Beowulf states in 1385 that "It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning." This is a very Anglo-Saxon macho man style of comforting Hrothgar who had just lost his best friend. In this poem, the 21st century is shown the epitome of an Anglo-Saxon hero and Beowulf is that hero.

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  3. Beowulf, described throughout the epic of his great strength, secures his eventual fall by failing to exercise wisdom along with his strength.
    Throughout the epic, there is no question of Beowulf's almost superhuman strength. In line 197, Beowulf is introduced to the reader as "the mightiest man on earth, high-born and powerful." Even before he took on Grendel, his resume of success included slaying five sea-brutes (line 420)and later killing nine more sea-monsters (lines 574-575). There was no question of Beowulf's strength, especially after he had defeated both the demon Grendel and his mother. But did Beowulf illustrate the ideal of sapienta et fortitudo? In other words, was Beowulf wise as well as strong?
    While Beowulf's strength is of no question, his wisdom, or lack of it at times, is seen as a common trait throughout this epic thus far. In lines 1992-1997, it is revealed that King Hygelac had begged Beowulf not to fight Grendel because he feared the worst. While wyrd had protected Beowulf despite these warnings from Hygelac, Beowulf's impulsiveness is revealed. He did not even consider heading the words of Hygelac, but instead took off with a small group of men to a foreign land while worrying his king. This does not sound very wise or considerate. This impulsiveness is later seen in this epic when old King Beowulf declares that he will go and slay the dragon who has terrified his people (lines 2512-2515). This act was more foolish than the last, when one considers that Beowulf's strength had waned with age, and his impulsiveness seemed to have grown stronger. This duel with the dragon ended up ending the life of heroic Beowulf, although he did keep his word and slay the dragon.
    Ultimately, Beowulf does not fully embody the ideal of sapienta et fortitudo due to his lack of wisdom and willingness to turn down a battle.

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  4. In order to be considered an Anglo-Saxon hero, one must possess certain qualities and characteristics, such as: Great strength, bravery and courage. In line 197, Beowulf is said to be “the mightiest man on earth”. This is just one of the many accounts of Beowulf’s strength. Another example of Beowulf’s incredible strength is seen during his battle with Grendel. Beowulf puts Grendel into a tight grip and eventually causes his entire arm to rip off. (Lines 834-835) Later in line 420, Beowulf is boasting about the amazing battles he has won, and he says, “… I have battled and bound five beasts, raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea slaughtered sea-brutes.” In this scene we see one account of Beowulf’s bravery and courage. This can also be seen in the scene where Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother. He dives down to the bottom of the lake in pursuit of the villain. He fights her, as well as “droves of sea-beasts” (Line 1510) and defeats every one of them. These two scenes communicate to the reader that Beowulf is a Brave and courageous warriors, and these example from the text portray Beowulf as an Anglo-Saxon hero.

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  5. The Anglo-Saxon hero is depicted, through Beowulf, as a strong, prideful, and cocky warrior. In line 534 Beowulf proclaims that he was "the strongest swimmer of them all". This shows his strength and endurance. This is the physical aspect of a hero. The Anglo-Saxon hero is always the strongest, the bravest, and the most physical person around. "Because all knew of my awesome strength" (line 418) is another example of strength, but also a very prideful character. Beowulf is boasting about how amazing he is, that everybody knows of his amazing power. In lines 631-638 Beowulf talks about the job that he had been assigned because nobody else could do it. He says that everybody else who attempted was killed, but he could, and would, do it. The Anglo-Saxon hero that is characterized through Beowuld is boastful, self absorbed, and very powerful.

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  6. In Anglo-Saxon culture, to be a hero was to be a warrior. A hero had to be strong, intelligent, and courageous. Warriors had to be willing to face any odds, and fight to the death for their glory and people. Beowulf is described as having the strength of "thirty men" in just one of his arms. He instantly proved his strength when he ripped off Grendel’s arm in the beginning of the book. Beowulf also shows his courage when he takes on Grendel by himself in the first place. A hero must be willing to die to achieve glory. He has to show courage in the face of overwhelming/impossible odds. Beowulf shows these characteristics throughout the epic novel, and proves that he is a true Anglo-Saxon hero.

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  7. Characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon warrior are exemplified through Beowulf and through his power, bravery, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for others. Beowulf's power is stated in line 2182, which says, "...his God-sent strength..." This is saying that Beowulf's power is not like an ordinary human's power, but rather incredible power that God has blessed Beowulf with. Beowulf's power is illustrated through the fight between Beowulf and Grendel, in which Grendel, "...was overwhelmed..." (Line 787) by Beowulf's power. Bravery is exemplified through Beowulf through his actions. Beowulf is not a scared man; he is shown fighting two demons, Grendel he fought with his bare hands, and with Grendel's mom, Beowulf searched for Grendel's mom and fought her and didn't wait for her to come to him. Beowulf is willing to sacrifice himself as well to help defend others. Beowulf sailed from his country over to where Grendel was terrorizing the people living in that country. To be willing to sail to a country just to kill a beast that is killing others is an example of Beowulf's willingness to sacrifice himself for the betterment of others. Beowulf through his action represents an Anglo-Saxon hero.

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  8. An Anglo-Saxon hero successfully demonstrates elements of courage, strength, and nobility, all of which Beowulf possesses. Beowulf truly shows his fearlessness in lines 2345-2353 when he is about to take on the "sky-plague", or dragon, by himself. Beowulf is completely unafraid of the dragon. "He had scant regard for the dragon as a threat, no dread at all of its courage and strength..." Beowulf almost seems a little too courageous at this point. He feels confident that he can destroy this beast just like he destroyed Grendel and Grendel's mother. Pride was also a characteristic of Anglo-Saxon heroes... and Beowulf had plenty of it. He rarely doubted his strength during battle. If there was a monster that needed slaying, he was the first person that the people looked to for help. Beowulf wanted to be the unbeatable warrior/hero. An Anglo- Saxon hero fought with honor and for the duty of his people, not for the rewards. Beowulf encompasses these heroic attributes.

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  9. In Anglo-Saxon culture a hero was defined as somone who was able to handle themselves in battle and accomplish great feats of strength. Beowulf and Unferth were both heroes because of their prowess in battle, however, Beowulf's feats were more incredible in the sense that he defeated monsters and demons and seemed to be unconquerable. Unferth's feats were more of success in battle in which he gained a strong reputation. In either case, the heroes gained their reputation through battle and war. Anglo-Saxon heroes were also extremely confident in their abilities and often fancied themselves the greatest warrior and didn't mind letting other people know it. In line 279 Beowulf confidently tells the gaurdian of the shores of Hrothgar's kingdom that he is here to defeat Grendel. This is a very confident claim since Grendel had killed hundreds of Hrothgar's warriors. In line 506 Unferth goes to Beowulf and insults him right to his face, in doing this he represents one of the main traits of an Anglo-Saxon hero: confidence. Along with this overexaggerated confidence, Anglo-Saxon heroes also had strength, valor, and skill with many different types of weapons. These characteristices summarize the characteristics that the Anglo-Saxon hero was comprised of.

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  10. The characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon hero lack one aspect of our heros of modern day. When we think of a hero, we may think of a courageous, gentle, kind (and obviously attractive) firefighter. Anglo-Saxon heros were very one-dimensional. They were massive, murdrous, fearless, and vicious monsters.This is largely due to the role of war in culture then. While some may be discouraged by a sports hero today that is caught smoking, or cheating, the Anglo-Saxon hero was so one-dimensional that it didnt matter. Because while integrity and humility and similar virtues compose a hero today, Anglo-Saxons wanted big, strong, and scary. Beowulf is the main hero in this epic. We can learn a lot from him. He is very Prideful. This epic has long been characterized by its hint of very boastful characters, and Beowulf is guilty. A modern-day author could not make his hero prideful. The audience simply wouldnt enjoy it. But beowulf, he just needs to be big and fearless. As mentioned, this is due to the importance of war in Anglo-Saxon culture. This also explains why characters that simply dont measure up to Beowulf are not more prideful, less inteligent, or have less integrity. They simply arent as strong, fearless, and monstrous.

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  11. The Anglo-Saxon hero is one who is courageous and brave, but also wise in his decisions and respected upon many as someone who is a great warrior. They were monsters, who weren't afraid of anything, risking their lives until they tore their enemies to shreds. Beowulf is simply this prideful beast who is big headed and terrifying to enemies. Beowulf, known for his courage, was the definition of an Anglo-Saxon hero (Lines 240-347). Beowulf steps up to Grendel and even his mom, completely fearless and just wrecks them in battle. Not only just Grendel and his mom, but he has always been an Anglo-Saxon hero, one who defeated sea-monsters prior to his fight with Grendel. He tears the arm off Grendel and THAT is his trophy. He doesn't want riches (well he does but they aren't most important), he wants a PART OF THE ENEMY. Then he brings the head! He just walks in with body parts and being prideful, he tells the story to all who listen. This is what an Anglo-Saxon hero is.

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  12. An Anglo saxon hero displays bravery, courage and honor. Beowulf is strong courageous man and displays the fortitude of a hero. On page twenty five there are many descriptions of a hero. Hrothgars officer goes on to explain a hero has stoutness of heart, bravery, courage, leadership, and wisdom. Beowulf has thus far displayed these qualities. A hero has great ability and knowledge and uses it for the good of people and to better himself.

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  13. Anglo saxon hero's display strength and courage. Beowulf embodies an anglo saxon hero as he saves the people form Grendel and displays great strength in doing it. Beowulf's strength is shown when he rips off Grendle's arm. Beowulf also shows great pride. his pride can be seen in his argument with Unfirth. Beowulf shows many characteristics of an anglo saxon hero.

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  14. Beowulf compensates for his lack of wisdom with his abundance of strength--thus making him not fit the heroic ideal of sapienta et fortitudo. When he is young, he is all about the fight, and earning more winnings. It almost seems as if he is an adrenaline junky, with the way that he thrusts himself into any battle--no matter who or what country he is defending. He hears a challenge, and he gladly accepts it. For example, the description of Grendel expressed in lines 100-106 would be enough to send any man running for his life, but Beowuld bravely sails the seas to face this monster. "A fiend out of hell...Grendel was the name of this grim demon haunting the marches, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters, Cain's clan..." One may think Beowulf to be a fool, but when he is introduced in this epic poem, he is practicaly portrayed as a god: "There was no one else like him alive. In his day he was the mightiest man on earth..." He certainly does not lack strength, but with his pride and bravery comes a lack of wisdom. However, later in the epic poem, Beowulf begins to even out a bit. He becomes the king of the Geats for fifty years--he was a wise and great king--one that fought for his country and had their best interest. He goes out in a blaze of glory. This particular action could be mistaken as foolish--offering up his life to save many, but I believe that this is the ultimate act of heroism, one that we can relate to today because of our savior. At the beginning of this epic poem, Beowulf does not illustrate sapienta et foritudo, but in the end, he earns that heroic ideal. He grows into a greater hero, as he learns to offer up his life for his country.

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  15. In Beowulf, the typical Anglo-Saxon hero is thoroughly described by giving details to the character of Beowulf. Such heroic aspects are strength and boldness. In line 418, Beowulf is described to have awesome strength and in line 534 he is said to be the strongest of all other warriors. Physical strength was one of the highest qualities of an Anglo-Saxon hero and this quality is seen in Beowulf. His character was also what made him a hero. He was a "prince of goodness(line 676), he "kept his temper"(line 2180) and he was said to have"enduring glory"(line 1535). Both physical and internal characteristics of a hero were greatly upheld in Anglo-Saxon times.

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  16. In the epic Beowulf the Anglo-Saxon hero is portrayed as a mighty victor and prideful force. The underlining theme of a hero is the glory that is coherent with succeeding in a quest such as the victory over Grendel such as in line 137. There is also a repetition of the term "High-Born" referring to Beowulf. This elevation of self puts him above others automatically because by birth he is already established as a man of higher being (line 209). It is also apparent that boasting over a victory is highly regarded as an attribute of a hero during the Anglo-Saxon era. Such as when Unferth is criticized by Beowulf for being a coward.(line 570) Unferth however is an intelligent man but this was not so much of value to the Saxons in identifying their hero. Heroes had to make a presence and the mead-hall was just the place too. When Beowulf enters into the Hall of Herot for the first time his presence alone speaks volumes of his power and influential hierarchy of High-Born (line 390-410). So then in these attributes of a hero the Anglo-Saxon people constructed many epics portraying their dogmatic opinion on the vision of a heron.

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  17. My computer is FINALLY fixed! :)

    The charachteristics of an Anglo-Saxon hero are strength, bravery, and loyalty. In this epic poem, the charachter who is most higly reguarded as a hero is Beowulf. In line 418, Beowulf states "..and all would know of my awesome strength." Clearly, being strong is a very important aspect of being a hero, though it is not the only one. Brave is a also huge charachteristic of an Anglo-Saxon hero. Beowulf is, without a doubt, extremely brave in this epic poem. He leaves his comfortability in his home land to help the Danes fend off the gruesome demon, Grendel. In lines 487-488, Hrothgar states, "And so they died, faithful retainers, and my following dwindled." He is telling Beowulf of how this demon killed massive amounts of men. This did not stop Beowulf, though. He even said he would fight Grendel without any weapons (lines 677-687). This is bravery at its finest! Lastly, loyal is an important charachteristic of an Anglo-Saxon hero. Throughout this entire poem, Beowulf shows nothing buy loyalty to his people and the people he is defending. His loyalty for his home land even lead to his death. In line 4336, it says "..so the war-king planned and plotted his revenge." This is revenge on the dragon for burning down his homeland and actual home. This is the loyalty that did him in. When he went to fight the dragon, it was his last battle. If he had no loyalty, this would not have happened. This act was a combination of the three things previously discussed in this paragraph: strength, bravery, and loyalty.

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  18. The Anglo Saxon hero is defined by the way he views himself and the way he treats others. Bravery is the most noticeable factor of Anglo Saxon heroes. Throughout the story, Beowulf is in constant search for adventure. The reason he came to save the Geats from Grendel is because of his passion for adventure. Anglo Saxon heroes also had a tendency to boast about their adventures. This van be seen before Beowulf dies when he proclaims his accomplishments to his people before his death. An epic hero also possesses leadership skills. This is seen when Beowulf arouses his men for battle before he fights the dragon. These characteristics show almost superhuman traits in that Anglo Saxon heroes were willing to do what the ordinary people of that day would not.

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