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How Literature Mirrors The Era Essay

720 words - 3 pages

How Literature Mirrors the Era

Beowulf, Macbeth, Eaters of the Dead, The Canterbury Tales, The Merchant of Venice, and Paradise Lost all reflect the time eras in which each was written. Each of which era reflects a totally different outlook on life.

The Anglo-Saxon era was focused on blood, war, tragedy, heroism, and evilness. William the Conquerer was making his invasions around the world; this set the world to attention, making war and violence a common spectacle.

Beowulf is one of the oldest known literary records of the beginnings of the English language. Beowulf is about a warrior who engages in a quest to help King Rothgar defeat a monster named Grendel. Throughout the whole story Beowulf is on a mission to destroy Grendel, and Grendel is out to murder and destroy life. In the end Beowulf is a hero and all rejoice. This reflects the Anglo-Saxon era in that there is a war between Grendel and Beowulf which end in death, also Grendel is a monster who is man eating which has to do with the violence and blood during this time.

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare is a conflicting story between Macbeth and Macbeth’s conscience. Macbeth is thirsty for power and greed and he will do anything to get what he wants, including killing the king. Macbeth’s conscience thoughout the play is trying to cope with the horrendous deeds he has done. The play ends with a war between Macbeth and Macduff. Macbeth is a mirror of the Anglo-Saxon era because of all the murders in the play, Macbeth murders people when they get in his way of earning what he thinks he deserves, such as the King and Banquo. The war at the end of the play shows how if someone in the Anglo-Saxon time period won a battle they were looked upon a god-like and very heroic.

Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, is about Viking adventures and invasions. The Vikings were almost barbaric in their ways, they set out to destroy towns and crush life. They killed anyone who gave them any trouble and they were...

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