Beowulf, Insight into human emotion
Beowulf’s epic is not only a powerful story of a great hero’s triumph over many an enemy, but it is also an insight into the human mind and of its wills and desires. The story shows great aspects of human prowess that everyone wants to acquire, such as fame among society, pride in oneself, and the power to overcome any obstacle. All of these different aspects of human nature are thoroughly shown throughout the story, both in Beowulf’s actions and his mentality.
Almost everyones desire in life is to be famous in some way and that was apparently no different in ancient times, however to acquire fame in Beowulf’s time was a whole different process compared to modern times. That being said, the will to become famous will never change and that is clearly depicted in the story. Throughout Beowulf’s life he always tried to gain fame among his kinsmen, between fighting a demon as a young warrior or banishing a dragon as a brittle king, the will for fame and pride is still ever present in his life.
From the beginning of his life to the end, he fought for glory and fame, it was the biggest personal drive for him throughout the story. People may think this is strange if not insane, but in all honesty most celebrities do the same thing today, they just don’t go around slaying dragons. They devoted most, if not their whole lives to becoming famous in the public eye, to have the glory that Beowulf sought and gained. So after all this time Beowulf’s poem can still appeal to the common person’s attraction to fame and glory.
Pride in oneself can be a tricky thing to acquire nowadays, however confidence and pride go hand and hand, and it turns out Beowulf had plenty of both. Beowulf was so confident that he fought a demon BARE-HANDED, a bloodthirsty, fear-inducing, hellspawn. Now who in their right mind would even consider such a feat? A confident, prideful warrior. These attributes are all qualities that people wish they had, this appeals to societies ideal of being independently strong and to be confident in one’s actions.
Even in old age Beowulf agrees to fighting a dragon by himself, knowing that he will most likely fail in his attempt to kill it. He is so confident in his actions that it’s almost supernatural, almost as if he knows the outcome of the fight already. This ability to be so confident and prideful makes Beowulf not only a likable character, but a role model among societies. His Mentality and actions are easily reflected in todays movies and even our daily lives.
Many of Beowulf’s attributes and characterization can be found among todays comic book heros as well, such as Batman or Superman. Power, in many ways, is present in both Beowulf’s story and in our modern lives in some way, shape or form. However in the story, physical and mental strength is Beowulf’s power, and that power is used to overcome one’s mind and one’s enemy, now this isn’t always physical power as show in beowulf’s later chapters, but it is a major aspect in the story.
As a young warrior, Beowulf, is supernaturally strong with abilities to wield giant swords and to fight large monsters bare-handed, however his physical strength is only matched by his mental strength. His mentality and confidence are great examples of how strong of will beowulf is, even in old age his mind still believes he can defeat unimaginable creatures, like they were lambs to slaughter. This trait that is constantly shown in beowulf’s story is not only the foundation for this epic but its a human trait wanted by all.
I mean imagine it, you would have the ability and the confidence to overcome any obstacle, to become an unstoppable force. A life abid of obstacles, and you would have the willpower to overcome them all. Although this ideal seems impossible, it is still easy to relate to and to want that trait, thats what makes Beowulf such a great hero. This ancient story still has the ability to grab a reader and have his mind wander in the world of Beowulf, and to examine different areas of their own life. To see where they are strong, to see where they are prideful, and to see where they are known.