Comparing Beowulf, And Dante's Inferno

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Kelsey McDonald Macbeth Critical Writing Assignment #2 Touchstones Fall 2014 In many ways, the tales of Aeneas in Virgil’s The Aeneid, Beowulf in Beowulf, and Dante in Dante’s Inferno show similar journeys and themes; however, many differences can also be identified. In The Aeneid, Virgil paints the picture in his epic poem of Aeneas, a warrior how is destined to found Rome. The poem begins with Aeneas and his men fleeing from a burning Troy by sea through the Mediterranean Sea. A fierce storm sent by Juno puts them off course and lands them in Carthage, at the feet of the founder and Queen, Dido. Upon arriving, Aeneas woos the city with his tales of the Trojan horse that tricked Troy into their own demise and how the Gods assured him of…show more content…
King Hrothgar, during his flourishing and fruitful reign, builds a giant mead-hall, named Herot. Here, King Hrothgar invites all of his people to gather to drink, receive gifts, and hear stories told by many. King Hrothgar viewed Herot as his key to immortality, that long after he was gone, Herot would stand and people would tell stories about its prosperous leader who built the mead-hall. However, during the exuberant celebration, the noise awakens a horrible demon-like creature, Grendel, that lives in the swamplands on the outskirts of Hrothgar’s kingdom. Grendel terrorizes the Danes for twelve years, killing many of Hrothgar’s men and leaving King Hrothgar’s kingdom empty. Upon hearing the tale of the Danes demise by Grendel, Beowulf, a young warrior embarks on a journey to Hrothgar’s Kingdom. Hrothgar in his young warrior days, aided Beowulf’s father in fighting off a monster, so Beowulf fulfills his duty to his father and aids Hrothgar in defeating Grendel. A feast upon Beowulf’s entry stirs Grendel and lures him into Herot. Beowulf battles Grendel with no weapons and finally rips off the monsters arm. With Grendel fatally wounded and retreating back to the swamp, Beowulf and the Danes celebrate by hanging Grendel’s are high in Herot. Another feast commences, which draws Grendel’s mother out of the shadows of the swamp, hungry with vengeance for her…show more content…
In his efforts to climb the hill, a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf steer him of course. He ventures back into the dark woods where he encounters the ghost of the great poet, Virgil, who guides Dante back on his path to the top of the mountain. Virgil, guided by Dante’s lost love, Beatrice, along with St. Lucia and the Virgin Mary, says that the path for Dante will take them through Hell, but will eventually lead them to Heaven. After passing through the gates of hell, Virgil and Dante enter the outlying region of Hell. It is here that the souls who would commit to neither good nor evil spend eternity in an interminable run chasing after blank banner while bugs attack them. Dante and Virgil after passing through the outlying circles of Hell, are boated across a river by Charon and into the First Circle of Hell. It is here that Virgil explains to Dante that they are blessed from a high power and safe from the depths of hell. The first circle of Hell holds pagans, or those who lived without Christ. After meeting several souls lost here, such as characters from the Aeneid and past philosophers, Dante and Virgil enter the second layer or circle of Hell where they encounter the monster Minos. Minos is a monster that determines which circle of Hell you are cursed to based on how many times he wraps his tail around you. Like Charon, Minos warns Dante not to enter,

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