Why Is Beowulf So Important

2870 Words12 Pages
Research Paper: Beowulf Beowulf is one of the greatest and most enduring literary works of all time. It has influenced cultures, set and broken records and even changed the way that we look at literature today. It is a story of complex, individualistic characters that are deep and believable and for the lack of a better word “human”. Seamlessly woven through the telling of these characters are countless themes such as honor, duty, and faith which shaped the mind and the culture of Western Civilization for hundreds of years. In the poem, Beowulf by Anonymous, early medieval period culture and ideals are peeled back and depicted with striking accuracy and realism all the while mixing and blending elements of Christianity with myth and magic.…show more content…
With vivid descriptivism, the poem draws readers in while leaving them looking for more. The reason Beowulf is so influential is the fact that it is the original epic poem. It blazed a trail and took both the modern and the ancient world by storm. Back in medieval feudal Europe, it revolutionized storytelling and became a cultural icon. Every writer and storyteller wanted his next publication to be like Beowulf but alas none could touch the immortal work. Even today Beowulf’s influence can be felt in the world of entertainment as seen in Hollywood’s multiple renditions of this tale. One of the more famous, “retellings” being a CGI motion capture action movie starring Ray Winstone, and Angelina Jolie. Variations in faithfulness to the story line contribute to a wide array of some completely outlandish and fantasized telling of the story.…show more content…
In this time period and world, a true warrior's bravery, strength and glory is derived from his courageous attitude toward life an indifference to death. A true warrior knows that someday, he will be defeated and will die, and everything is guided by God’s will, and all that a warrior can do is meet every challenge and battle fearlessly, increasing his own reputation for courageous and heroic deeds, so that when he dies he will be remembered and honored for his bravery. However, cowards and people who aren't willing to live by this fatalistic code of honor do exist in Beowulf and are looked upon as shameful and dishonorable. A good example of this is at the end when Wiglaf and Beowulf’s men are watching Beowulf fight the Dragon, Courageous and Loyal Wiglaf wants to help Beowulf and tries to rally the rest of the men with a speech but the rest of the men scatter and flee with only Wiglaf left to courageously help Beowulf, “And now the youth was to enter the line of battle with his lord, his first time to be tested as a fighter. His spirit did not break and the ancestral blade would keep its edge, as the dragon discovered as soon as they came together in the combat.” (pg. 177) “As God is my witness, I would rather my body

More about Why Is Beowulf So Important

Open Document