Beowulf's only weaknesses are his ego and pride, which lead him to recklessly take on challenges alone. This sets him apart from Greek and Roman heroes, who always have a tragic flaw that leads to their destruction.Know More
After a night of boasting, Beowulf takes on the dreaded monster Grendel and then dives deep into a pool after Grendel's deadly mother. Beowulf does these things without fear, sometimes even without weapons, with the confidence that he will succeed.
Even when he is older and weaker, he tackles a dragon by himself. When he is mortally wounded in defeating the dragon, he accepts the fate that decreed he would die at that point. This separates Beowulf from the Greek classical heroes, whose fates were caused by their own bad choices at critical moments. Beowulf must fight the dragon or accept the death of many. In fighting it, he demonstrated Western fatalism, rather than Greek hamartia.Learn more about Classics
Themes that are present in "Beowulf" include loyalty, reputation, generosity, hospitality, envy, revenge, the search for identity, the difference between good warriors and good kings, fame, pride, Christianity and Paganism. Beowulf personifies loyalty throughout the story, while the characters of King Hrothgar and Queen Wealhtheow exemplify generosity and hospitality.Full Answer >
One example of personification in "Beowulf" comes when Beowulf describes sea monsters as "vengeful creatures, seated to banquet at bottom of sea." By comparing the hungry sea creatures to humans ready for a meal, he is using personification, the attribution of human qualities to non-human things.Full Answer >
In the poem "Beowulf," Grendel's mother is described as a female monster and sea hag. She generally lacks humanity, but she does seek revenge for her son's death, which can be viewed as a distinctly human quality. Full Answer >
Like "Beowulf," the action film "The 13th Warrior" attempts to convey a sense of excitement and heroism to its story, while allowing Beowulf to remain a larger-than-life figure. Michael Crichton's novel "Eaters of the Dead" provides the basis for the film, which is a more authentic and scientific retelling of "Beowulf."Full Answer >