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Beowulf - Changes in People

Uploaded by MadTick on May 13, 2001

The tale of Beowulf is one of constant transformation. Great warriors and leaders are turned 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 about by changing times. People can remain content as long as nothing challenges them, however at the mere sight of change personal chaos abounds.

One case of how change causes people to forsake their values happens when Grendal makes his first appearance at Herot. “Then Hrothgar, taking the throne, led/ The Danes to such glory that comrades and kinsmen/ Swore by his sword, and young men swelled.” (64-67) Hrothgar was a mighty leader of the Danes, but at the sight of a different foe, a change, Hrothgar turned tail and ran. He did not once try to face Grendal (although his attempt would have been insignificant), but would rather let his people live in terror. The Hrothgar describe before the arrival of Grendal was a completely different person, mentally, than the Hrothgar that was terrorized by the monster. He knew only one type of enemy, humans, and once that changed he lost all his leadership power. A true man of values would have kept them 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 that makes him vulnerable to being caught by change. He becomes too comfortable in his station that he narrows his comfort zone to such a level that any amount of change will throw his off tremendously. Everything that happens is by his own doings.

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 comes up. Beowulf is constantly battling evil, which makes him more able to battle it when it is encountered. Hrothgar was not exposed to evil, so when it reared its ugly head his only reaction was to flee. If someone lives in a perfect society and leaves, they will not be able to deal with the evil they find because they have never had to deal with it before. Good cannot combat evil if it has never known evil.

The only way to resolve Hrothgar’s situation is to bring...

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Uploaded by:   MadTick

Date:   05/13/2001

Category:   Beowulf

Length:   4 pages (985 words)

Views:   2680

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