Fate In Beowulf

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In the tale of Beowulf, the hero, Beowulf, makes decisions upon which one can dispute between being a result of fate, or by individual choice. The term “fate” can represent a variety of different things and ideas. Its major representation, however, is used to portray events predetermined by God. Beowulf’s fate has already been decided by God and he cannot escape it, despite his best efforts. Fate is the factor that defines his choices in life and its outcomes, rather than his own individual and personal choice. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that fate played a role in his decision to sail out to Denmark and save Heorot from Grendel’s nightly raids. After experiencing many endless attacks at Heorot, people prayed that someone “might come to their aid and save the people” (177). Not surprisingly, Beowulf hears about their troubles and assembles a boat and small army to seek out “the famous prince who needed defenders” (201). Although subtle in effect, this showcasing of fate is effective in the way that citizens prayed for help, and the hero, Beowulf, just happened to answer the call. Upon grasping of that idea, it is clear that fate was involved in Beowulf’s encounter with Grendel and this was not the case of an impulsive decision to travel and save a population of people.…show more content…
Before fighting the dragon, he sensed his death, and was certain that “it would soon claim his coffered soul, part life from limb” (2422). This moment of self-recollection before his final battle suggests that Beowulf realized his life was driven by fate, although it is not made completely obvious at that instant. When the poet states “he was destined to face the end of his days, in this mortal world, as was the dragon, for all his long leasehold on the treasure” (2342), this touches even more on the idea that his future (and the dragon’s) is already

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