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Bowie State University Similarity of Beowulf and Greek Characters Discussion

Bowie State University Similarity of Beowulf and Greek Characters Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a literature discussion question and need support to help me learn.

must read the source that I assigned below only. outside sources that I don’t provide are not accepted and will request for a refund.!!”

“Beowulf is an interesting hero because while the epic about him was written in England, in Old English, he himself was a Scandinavian hero – specifically, from the kingdom of the Geats (probably in southern Sweden). Most of the epic takes place in Denmark (ll. 1-1904) – Hrothgar is a Danish king. The poem was probably composed in the 9th-10th centuries, but Beowulf’s uncle Hygelac seems to have been a historical king in the early 7th century. So it’s possible that Beowulf himself was very loosely based on a historical warrior. Early Germanic societies tended to have small groups of warriors – the duguth – closely linked to each other and to their lord. The lord gave his warriors gifts, a home, and a sense of belonging. Gift-giving was an extremely important part of Germanic culture – gifts were not just a method of payment or exchange, but a way of establishing and strengthening social bonds. It was an oral culture, so people pledged their word to each other (instead of signing a contract), and someone’s truthfulness and fidelity was extremely important.

In Beowulf, every episode has the three basic character types: protagonist, antagonist, and foil. The protagonist is the hero – the story follows his actions. The antagonist works against the hero (so, the villain is always an antagonist, but the story may also have other characters, forces, or institutions that act antagonistically). A foil is a special kind of secondary character, one who contrasts with the hero in some way. A foil also often helps us understand the hero better. So, for example, one of the ways that Unferth contrasts with Beowulf is that he is boastful, which makes Beowulf seem more modest. At the end of the epic, Wiglaf is a young warrior just beginning his career, while Beowulf is an old and experienced king.

Another interesting aspect of how Beowulf deploys characters is that we often see parallels. For example, King Hrothgar and King Hygelac are parallel characters, as are their young sons. Queen Wealhtheow (Hrothgar’s wife) and Queen Hygd (Hygelac’s wife) are parallel to each other, and contrasted with the cruel Queen Modthryth who slowly becomes a better queen after years of marriage (ll. 1931-1955).”

Finally, we see a combination of pagan and Christian beliefs, both in Fate and in God the world-creator, and an awareness that life – and a hero’s chance for glory – is brief.

the assignment is this below ⬇️

Since you had a lot of reading for today, the discussion won’t take as much writing as usual – about 2-3 sentences per question.

1) What is a similarity between Beowulf and the Greek heroes?




2) What is different? In other words, what characteristics do you think typify an early medieval Scandinavian hero?

3) What about Unferth and Wiglaf? What are their heroic characteristics? (even Unferth has one!)

For Question 4 I WILL SENT it LATER after you answer Q 1,2 and 3

4) Post your answers, and then read your classmates’ posts. In a comment for one classmate, add a 1-2-line quote from Beowulf that demonstrates one of the characteristics they identify.

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