Comparisons Between the Hobbit and Beowulf

Comparisons Between the Hobbit and Beowulf

Elizabeth Corbitt Discussion 3 What similarities have you seen between the book, The Hobbit, and Beowulf? At first I saw major differences between Beowulf and The Hobbit. One is a story that was once a simple bed time story for the author’s children and the other is a poem that is the oldest English literature that we have today. So, due to them being completely different in ways they really are completely alike. Reading Beowulf makes you feel almost as if the author of The Hobbit may have even heard of Beowulf when he was a young child and his imagination wondered on the same concept that the poem Beowulf was articulating.

After reading through–out the poem and story, the similarities I found that were most interesting were the weapons that were given names and anyone who carried the weapon felt honored and was looked at with honor if the weapon had done great things in a battle. The weapons played important roles in the culture of the Anglo-Saxons. The famous swords that appeared in the poem and story was Naegling which was Beowulf’s Sword, Hrunting was Unferth’s sword and the two swords in The Hobbit were Orcrist and Glamdring.

Another similarity is each the poem and story has a character that has a deformity. The poem Beowulf has Grendel and is never called a monster but yet they were not sure what he was. The Hobbit’s character that had a deformity was Gollum who we know for a fact he was once a hobbit and developed a deformity that was caused by the Powerful Ring. An Interesting fact about each was the number of men that formed in groups was the constant number of thirteen, they never formed very large group of people if they were going on a journey or small fight.

Dragons were included in both poem and story and exquisite treasure was under the protection of the dragon at all times. Also, anything the heroes did in the tales had to be larger than life and unforgettable. For example Beowulf had many skirmishes and stories were told about him far and wide around the world. One skirmish that was told was about the time he swam for 7 days in armor and a sword while fighting of sea monsters. Today’s day and age this is impossible but, during the Anglo-Saxon era this would have been accepted because Beowulf was a hero and that was the kind of things heroes did.

The Anglo-Saxons accepted these outrageous deeds because of the hero status of performing many deeds. Lineage played a major role in both poem and story. Each character both Beowulf and Bilbo introduce themselves a son of their father’s as well as all other characters in both poem and story. During that era if your father was a great man and did many great deeds his legacy acted as a resume for his children and his children remained honored by many unless they performed something cowardly and tainted the family line.