Differences Between Hamlet’s Mental/Emotional Conflicts and Beowulf’s Physical Battles
Differences between Hamlet’s mental/emotional conflicts and Beowulf’s physical battles Beowulf is an epic poem from an unknown author. The main point and theme of Beowulf is about heroism of a warrior with courage who becomes an epic hero; not only by his strength in the battles but also by his social obligations. In Williams Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Hamlet’s mental and emotional conflict is based on a tragedy of revenge. It is the differences of Beowulf and Hamlet, that also make it the same. The epic poem Beowulf tells the story of a Geatland warrior; from young to old, in Anglo-Saxon times.
Beowulf travels overseas to the ruler of the Danes, King Hrothgar, to sacrifice his own life to help this land fight off a demon named Grendel. King Hrothgar had once helped out Beowulf’s father, so Beowulf is returning the favor. When Beowulf attacks Grendel, he fights with only his hands, ripping off the demon’s arms. Beowulf has wounded Grendel who then dies. King Hrothgar gives treasures to Beowulf as a reward for his heroic defeat of the demon. Grendel’s mother, also a demon, avenges her son’s death and attacks Heorot Hall. She is killed by Beowulf, who beheaded her.
Beowulf leaves the land of the Danes and he returns to Geatland. As a civilized man, Beowulf gives the treasures from his defeats to his King and Queen and fulfills his social obligations. When the King and the King’s son of Geatland are killed, Beowulf takes the throne of the Geats. For fifty years, he rules Geatland as a noble king. Now as an old man, his last battle is with a dragon. With the help from Wiglaf, he kills the dragon. Soon after the encounter, Beowulf also dies. During the battle, he had been bitten in the neck by the dragon. He is buried by the sea for his legacy to be remembered.
Beowulf showed strength, courage, courtesy, loyalty and pride. The Geats said “that of all the kings upon earth, he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win fame”. In the end, Beowulf had once sacrificed his life again; leaving his people without a king. “Now with war looming over our nation, soon it will be known to Franks and Frisians, far and wide, that the king is gone”. Has Beowulf failed his people? Like Hamlet in the last act of the play, who avenges for his father’s death, Beowulf knows what he must do as king and hat has been appointed to him and takes actions of his culture as a heroic warrior. In William Shakespeare’s, Hamlet, the play is a Renaissance tragedy in Denmark about revenge and cultural identity for Hamlet by the duty of his father and the duties to his society. Hamlet’s father was murdered and Hamlet has been visited by his father’s ghost. The ghost tells Hamlet that he must kill his killer and that his killer is Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius but that he must not kill his mother. Claudius has married Hamlet’s mother only a month after killing her husband, Old King Hamlet. Prince Hamlet is furious with his mother, Gertrude.
Hamlet becomes obsessed with afterlife, suicide and what happens to bodies when they die. Given evidence by the ghost that his Uncle killed his father, he also is obsessed at proving Claudius’ guilt. After a month of Old King Hamlet’s death, Claudius and Gertrude marry and Hamlet is furious and begins to take out his anger on the woman he loves, Ophelia. The madness is so much to Hamlet he contemplates his own death and suicide. Hamlet has a group of traveling actors act out in a play; a scene resembling his father’s death that can prove his uncle’s guilt and if the ghost is real and not the devil in his head.
When Hamlet sees Claudius go into prayer, he knew his uncle was guilty he must kill him. Hamlet confronts his mother and Polonius is hiding behind a curtain listening to Hamlet and when Hamlet thinks it might be Claudius behind the curtain, and stabs through the curtain killing Polonius. Polonius’ son, Laertes returns to Denmark from France and Claudius convinces him that Hamlet is to blame for his father’s and sister’s, Ophelia, deaths. Claudius and Laertes scheme a plan of friendly fencing but Claudius will poison Laertes blade and poison a goblet as a backup plan.
When the fighting begins, Hamlet stabs Laertes and declines to drink from the goblet. Instead, Gertrude drinks from the goblet and before she dies, she declares she has been poisoned. Laertes reveals to Hamlet that Claudius is to blame for the Queen’s death and cuts Hamlet with his sword. Hamlet takes Laertes sword and strikes Laertes and Claudius with the poisoned sword. The entire royal family is dead. Hamlet had revealed to his friend, Horatio about the ghost and the truth of his father’s murder.
Horatio fulfills his request and tells Hamlet’s tragic story that caused the mental and emotional conflicts to acknowledge his duties that caused him to seek revenge that caused this tragedy. Hamlet was then carried away as a fallen soldier. The differences in Beowulf and Hamlet is one is about revenge and the mental and emotional state Hamlet encountered that Beowulf did not. Beowulf began as heroic warrior and died a heroic warrior. Hamlet was thought to be insane but in the end, his story told another story; he was noble as well as a hero. The differences make it the same for Beowulf and Hamlet.