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Destiny is The Hero’s Death In Beowulf

In the thrilling epic Beowulf, the theme of fatalism is extremely apparent all through the poem. “Fate will go as it should.” (Line 455) The Anglo Saxons believed that people lived life as an every day struggle against undefeatable odds and that a man’s “wyrd” or fate would be what it would be (Chickenring 269). The Anglo-Saxon’s understanding of fate is that it is a force that controls a man’s life regardless of his actions. Beowulf is a valiant hero in this poem he has fought numerous battles and won several wars. He understands that his life is in the hands of fate. Beowulf knows that no matter how properly he fights or how numerous weapons he makes use of, if wyrd is not on his side he is consequently doomed. In the beginning of the poem Beowulf is introduced as a fearless hero who has the might and strength of thirty men. As the story unfolds, Beowulf gradually loses his vitality until he is fatally defeated. He can not escape his deadly fate. The author demonstrated the energy of fate by showing Beowulf’s gradual decline of strength through the outcomes of his three battles with the monsters.

Beowulf’s voyage brings him to the land of the Danes where he is initial confronted by a guard who quickly upon seeing him, remarks on his impressive look. “Never have I observed a mightier noble, a bigger man than the one among you a warrior in armor.” (Lines 247-249) Once he and his males are allowed in Denmark, Beowulf reunites with his deceased father’s old pal Hrothgar in the mead hall. Hrothgar tells Beowulf that he is desperate to get rid of the ferocious beast, Grendel. He says, “It gives me wonderful shame to have to reveal/ disaster Grendel has brought me in his persecution. / my males are much less. Fate swept them off.”(Lines 473- 477) Beowulf promises to assist Hrothgar and pledges to fight till his death if require be. He says “that I would entirely fulfill the need of the Danish nation or else fall slaughtered in the grip of the foe. Tonight I will do a heroic deed or else I will serve my last day of life here in this mead hall” (Lines 632-638). His speech to Hrothgar shows Beowulf’s courage and self-confidence in his skills. So, confident of his incomparable power, he chooses to not use any weapons or armor of any kind. When Beowulf fights Grendel he merely grabs onto the monsters arm and rips it off. Grendel goes back to his liar and dies. Beowulf returns to the Danes and with Grendel’s arm and is thanked profusely by the people and Hrothgar.

This fight illustrates how robust and brave Beowulf is at this time. Fate has brought him accomplishment in his battles and he is at the peak of his life. He may be strong and potent, but with no fate on his side he is damned. He says, “Fate frequently saves an undoomed man when his courage is great.” (Lines 572-573) Sadly the death of Grendel brings an additional battle for Beowulf, Grendel’s mother. Grendel’s mother becomes enraged by the death of her son and desires to avenge his death. Just before going into the water to fight Grendel’s mother, Beowulf shows that even though he “has no care for his life” (Line 1443) he knows that there is the possibility of death. Beowulf approaches this battle with confidence as before, but this time he covers himself in armor and utilizes a sword for protection. “Across his chest lay the iron net it saved his life as she hacked and stabbed” (Lines 1547-1549) Beowulf’s original sword proves to be useless against this beast. He sees an ancient sword in the monster liar and slays her. Had there not been a sword in the liar, Beowulf might have not been victorious.

Beowulf’s wyrd was to defeat Grendel’s mother, but he could not have succeeded if fate did not let him to find the other sword. “Not extremely easily did I save my life in battle under water/ at when the fight was decided against me, except that God saved me. In that battle I could not use Hrunting, though that weapon is still great/ the ruler of guys granted the favor that I see on the wall a vibrant sword hanging, gigantic heirloom / so that I found the proper weapon to draw.(1655-1665). Compared with the defeat of Grendel, exactly where he only required his bare hands to finish off the monster, Beowulf seems to be gradually becoming weaker. Hrothgar warns Beowulf that his strength will not last forever. “Oh brave champion! Your fame lives now in, 1 sturdy time. Soon in their turn sickness or war will break your strength, or the grip of fire overwhelming wave, or swords swing, or hateful old age the lights will darken that were your eyes death overcomes you all at when warrior. “(Lines 1762-1769) Hrothgar shares his wisdom to remind Beowulf not to let pride overcome him for everything in life is sooner or later defeated due to the power of fate.

Following slewing the two monsters, Beowulf gains excellent respect from the Danes and returns to his residence land, Geatland. He and his guys are reunited with their king and queen, Hygelac and Hygd and tell them of his adventures in Denmark. Over time, the fantastic King, Hygelac is killed in a battle against the Shylfings. When Hygelac’s son dies, the queen gives Beowulf the throne of the Geats. Beowulf becomes a wise and noble king. He rules for fifty years, bringing wealth to Geatland. Even so, when a thief disturbs a barrow, exactly where a dragon lies guarding a pile of treasure the dragon becomes infuriated and starts killing the Geats and causing havoc all more than the land. After Beowulf received news of the angered dragon his reaction was expected to be equivalent to how he responded to Grendel and Grendel’s mother. Nonetheless, his reaction to the news was a sense of one thing poor to come. He is not fully sure of himself. “To the wonderful king it was fantastic anguish, pain deep in thoughts.” (Lines 2327-2329) At this point the narrator warns the reader that Beowulf will die in the upcoming battle. “The king long great, was to read the finish of his seafaring days, his life in this globe together with the serpent though long it had rules the wealth of the hoard.”(Lines 2341-2344) Beowulf puts aside his fears and gathers his men to fight the dragon. Ahead of embarking on his fateful mission, he tells the Geats a sad story of the death and the sorrow it brought on the Geat individuals. This story is an indication that Beowulf is conscious of his old age and diminished strength and appears unsure of his fate. “His spirit was sad, restless, death ripe immeasurably close to the fate that was coming to the old man to seek out his soul parting the two, his life from the body” (Lines 2419-2423).

Beowulf prepares himself for the fight against the dragon by defending his body with armor, realizing that it is unlikely he will defeat the dragon with out protection and weapons. When he fought Grendel so numerous years ago, Beowulf was confident of his skills and fate and chooses not to use weapons. Beowulf fights the dragon with all his may well and succeeds in killing the dragon. Sadly Beowulf’s time has come and dies by the dragon’s venomous bite. Beowulf’s tragic death signifies the excellent part of fate in life for the Anglo Saxons. No matter how excellent the warrior, fate prevails “He could not in the globe, much as he wished, keep any life in the old spear-leader nor adjust the course of the Ruler’s will. The judgment of God then ruled the deed of each man as He still does now.” (Lines 2855-2859)

The author of Beowulf employed the Anglo Saxon notion of “wyrd” to exemplify how every single battle that Beowulf fought would impact how he fought the other people. The author also showed how a person’s fate is death and how every single battle that Beowulf fought brought him closer to his dying day. In the course of the initial battle, Beowulf is powerful, effective, and quite confident. He fights and kills Grendel without a weapon and is very proud of his glory. He knew that fate was on his side, but usually stated that he was conscious that the end of his life will one particular day come. In the second battle, this time against Grendel’s mother, Beowulf chooses to use a weapon, but the weapon fails. Fortunately, fate permits him to see a sword in the monsters liar and Beowulf decapitates the monster. Beowulf knew soon after his first battle that fate was on his side, but would he have the energy of “wyrd” once more even though fighting Grendel’s mother? This is why he may possibly have chosen to use a sword. Beowulf’s last brawl was against a dragon that was terrorizing the Geatland. Beowulf was really unsure of himself. His tone had entirely changed since the starting of the poem. He as a result, protects himself with armor and weapons, so that he feels a lot more secure even though battling the dragon. Beowulf’s feeling of uncertainty and worry indicated that his death was close to and that it would finish with the dragon. As the story ended Beowulf’s fate was to overcome and kill the dragon, but was not to live yet another day.

Paul Bauschatz and James Earl each confirm in their writings that the use of the word “wyrd” suggests the deciding energy of all previous actions on present events. It is then reasonable to say that the hero’s death is straight connected or predetermined by his earlier actions. The Christian religion states that God determines whether a hero will live or die. In Beowulf, it seems that it is no longer God who determines regardless of whether the hero will succeed or perish. It is wyrd, the collective pressures of Beowulf’s previous actions, which makes his death inevitable.

In the poem Beowulf, wyrd, the eternal energy of all past actions on present events, determines Beowulf demise. It was Beowulf’s fate to fight the two monsters and the dragon. It was also his fate to die a hero. Throughout the story it seemed like Beowulf constantly tested fate. He did not seem to care regardless of whether he lives or dies. He knew that he could not control his destiny. Though, Beowulf did know, on his dieing day, that through courage he can live on in the memory of these who will reside after him.

Operates Cited

Chickenring Jr. Howell D. Beowulf A Dual-Language Edition New York: Random Home Inc. 2006.
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