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As seen in Beowulf, does Beowulf help the Danes for leverage into heaven?Textual Evidence?

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pjaworowski | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:00 AM via web

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As seen in Beowulf, does Beowulf help the Danes for leverage into heaven?

Textual Evidence?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 9, 2012 at 8:37 PM (Answer #1)

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One could argue that Beowulf, the epic hero in the Old English poem Beowulf, acts as he does for both his own personal glory and the glory of God. Given that the epic hero is renowned (meaning everyone knows of his heroic deeds far and wide), Beowulf's glory could be seen as his own personal need for glory. Others may recognize Beowulf's honor and commitment to God. Perhaps the most supporting quote in the text of Beowulf's righteous actions being true (and not simply "leverage" to get into heaven) is the following from chapter X (ten) of the text:

"We shall both spurn the sword this night if he dares to seek me here and make war without weapons. Let the wise God, the holy Lord, decree success on whichever side seems right to Him!”

Readers can see that Beowulf's intentions lie in celebrating God, fighting for God, and fighting for what is good in the world--not only to get into heaven. The power which Beowulf gives to God, as being the one who declares success, shows Beowulf's religious ideologies--that he is a warrior for God and all battles fought are in his honor.


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