Fate in the Epic Poem Beowulf
Emily Floyd Mrs. Looper English 4 3 March 2013 Beowulf Essay Fate, or Wyrd, is employed in an immense way in the epic Beowulf. Voluminous debates arise over the subject of the existence of free will. Some argue that people are slaves to fate, while others believe that people have decisive periods in life in which they can exercise free will. Wyrd corresponds impeccably throughout Beowulf’s potpourri of battles. His idiosyncrasies transmute during the various stages in the epic, modifying his destiny alongside him.
As he matures, he becomes sager and less audacious. This influences him to formulate more enlightened selections when it comes to factors of his well-being. Beowulf was destined to combat Grendel despite not commencing his expedition across the great sea. He was fated to be the one to overcome the horrendous wretch after annihilating the most staggering of foes. A significant amount of mankind had endeavored to obliterate Grendel, but all had failed, sacrificing their lives in attempt.
Beowulf implemented his free will, not only by resolving to extinguish the demon’s poor existence, but also by deciding to battle weaponless and without aide. The great prince eventually overcame the fiend by remarkably wrenching his limb from him. Wyrd contributed when Grendel astonishingly made his way to the lair in the lake where his mother resided. The she devil, vehement over the slaughter of her spawn, calculated her plan for vengeance. She, in cold blood, assassinates one of Hrothgar’s devoted warriors and purloins her son’s appendage from the mead hall.
The mighty warrior, having demolished her son, is now obligated to dispatch another fiend. Beowulf, even only after a short period had ensued after skirmishing with Grendel, had become became sager with time; he wasn’t going to have unnecessary hazards by being unequipped. When he reached the ominous lake, he leaped into the brackish waters courageously. As fate would have it, he attained the attributes of a hero that corresponded to the ideals of that time, and was able to perform superhuman deeds, such as the ability to breathe underwater, or hold his breath for xtensive periods of time. When he arrived at the lowermost section of the lake, the water witch gained the upper hand in battle, as she was not only cleverer than her son, but also that she fought with a cause. Beowulf’s sword, Hrunting, was also detrimental to his cause, as it could not inflict a wound on the repugnant creature. Wyrd would not consent to the hero perishing, and bestowed him an opportunity that would resuscitate his lifespan. An ancient sword lies in the lair, and utilizes it eliminate the she demon, and decapitate Grendel.
The sword’s blade dissipates, but the bejeweled hilt endures, and is the only treasure Beowulf ferries to King Hrothgar, and after doing so he returns to his homeland to rule for fifty years. A thief pilfers from a dragon and the mighty beast in its wrath, razes the country, and Beowulf, an ancient being by now, is predetermined to fight his last crusade. He exercises free will by agreeing to commence battle with the dragon and addresses the people of his country and says his farewell and chooses the most distinguished warriors to accompany him.
When the party encounters the dragon, they all flee, save for Wiglaf, his most loyal disciple. When Beowulf’s wound in his neck proves to be mortal, he sets Wiglaf off in search of the treasure and orders him to convey it to him as a final request. When he returns, Beowulf gives him everything, including governance of the kingdom and orders him to erect a tower in his name. Wiglaf weeps for his deceased lord and bitterly scolds the pusillanimous soldiers who abandoned Beowulf when he required him the most.
Fate, or Wyrd, and free will all have intricate roles in the epic. Whether or not Beowulf was a drudge to fate, or if he regularly exercised his free will is debatable. He may have been following a predetermined path, but he did so bravely and should not be thought as less for it; his courage leads by example to many others. He often had the free will to yield and withdraw himself from the situation, but he continued and refused to admit defeat.