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Beowulf: Changes In People

Uploaded by Admin on Oct 30, 2001

The tale of Beowulf is one of constant tranformation. Great warriors and leaders turn into cowering peons. Faithful Christians convert to devil worship. Devout followers flee at the sight of trouble. Many people's morals change quickly and drastically at the sight of change. Personal turmoil abounds with changing values brought by changing times. People remain content as long as nothing challenges them, but at the first sight of change chaos occurs.

One case of how change causes people to forsake their values happens when Grendel makes his first appearance at Herot. In Herot lives Hrothgar who "...led/ The Danes to such glory that comrades and kinsmen/ Swore by his sword, and young men swelled ( Beowulf lines 64-67). Hrothgar is a mighty leader of the Danes, but at the sight of a different foe, a change, Hrothgar turns tail and runs. He does not once try to face Grendel. He instead lets his people live in terror. The Hrothgar that is described before the arrival of Grendal is a completely different person, mentally, than the Hrothgar that is terrorized by the monster. He knows only one type of enemy, humans, and once that changes he loses all his leadership power. A true man of value will keep his values no matter what change takes place.

Fate does not play a role in Hrothgar's actions. He is caught up in pride about all his achievements. This makes him weak to being caught by change. He beomes so comfortable in his station that he narrows his comfort zone to such a level that any amount of change will throw him off. Everything that happens is by his own accord. Hrothgar is a perfect example of how people cannot mentally fight evil. Without the constant attack of evil, one will not be able to deal with it when it arises. Hrothgar is not exposed to evil, so when it rears its ugly head his only reaction is to flee. If someone lives in a utopia and leaves, they will not be able to deal with the evil they find because they have never dealt with it before. Good cannot combat evil if it has never known evil.

The only way to resolve Hrothgar's situation is to bring in someone who knows evil and faces it well, is not prideful, and can adapt to change well. In the tale, that is exactly how the problem...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   10/30/2001

Category:   Beowulf

Length:   4 pages (922 words)

Views:   2108

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