Vengeance: The Road Of A Hero For Fame And Glory

1009 words - 5 pages

How many of you have experienced when you reading something, without any signs, a strange story, a conversation, or even an event break in suddenly and confuse you what the author is trying to express? The term digression refers to the departure of the central theme of the reading or writings. Digressions are found throughout “Beowulf” and it is a little bit confusing me since I’m a first-time reader of the old English epic heroic poem which written in England in between the 8th and the 11th century, it was commonly cited as one of the important work in Angelo-Saxon literature. Every time when digressions showed up, I realize it was to explain events that happened in the past and most were related to the vengeance theme of the poem. Although the digressions seem like accidental interruptions in the poem, they are actually here to serve as indirect commentary for the main plot, the “Revenge” and the “Slaughter” between the human being and wild monsters, and the road of a hero to gain his fame and glory.
King Hrothgar of Denmark, built a great mead-hall, called Heorot, where his warriors can gather to drink, receive gifts from their lord, and listen to stories sung by the scops, or bards. But the jubilant noise from Heorot angers Grendel, a horrible demon who lives in the swamplands of Hrothgar’s kingdom. Grendel terrorizes the Danes every night, killing them and defeating their efforts to fight back. The Danes suffer many years of fear, danger, and death at the hands of Grendel. Beowulf, a man which strong like bear, and sharp like wolf. “There was a feud one time, begun by your father……I shipped a treasure-trove to the Wulfings and Ecgtheow acknowledged me with oaths of allegiance.” (L. 459-72). This digression appeared to the very beginning of the poem, when Hrothgar recounts a feud during which Beowulf’s father, Ecgtheow killed Heatholaf, a member of the Wulfings, Hrothgar sent treasure to heal this feud and set an obligation with Ecgtheow. Beowulf here to fight against Grendel is to avenge the death of so many Danes under the terror of this monster and to discharge his father, Ecgtheow’s debt to Hrothgar. Each time a terror begun, there will be a hero comes to fight against. “The truth is…on the coast of Finland” (L. 532-81) it is Beowulf’s correction of the story which comes from Unferth challenges his ability to fight Grendel. This particular scene helps to clarify the difference between proper and petulant boastfulness and establishes Beowulf as keeping the values of honor and truth than the taste of Unferth’s jealousy and bitter speech. These two digression give the reader a better understanding of the Germanic heroic code of values and behaves.
Fighting with Grendel was not the end, it is the beginning of a hero trying to prove his worth on the road of fame and glory. The...

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