Major Themes of Beowulf - Term Paper - Blaine
Major Themes of Beowulf Strength, Power, Heroism, and Courage
King Hrothgar from Denmark built heorot where his warriors could drink and listen to each others stories. But all the loud noise that comes from the dining hall of heorot, angers Grendel, who is a large gross-looking demon that lives in the swampland of King Hrothgars’ kingdom. Grendel terrorizes the Danes Day and night, Grendel has feared the Danes of himself. King Hrothgar has set up a challenge for whoever wishes to fight off and kill Grendel; eventually a warrior named Beowulf accepts his challenge and sets off to kill Grendel. After Beowulf sails to Denmark to defeat Grendel, King Hrothgar holds a feast in honor of Beowulf for challenging Grendel. Grendel arrives later that evening and Beowulf fights Grendel unarmed. Grendel begins to struggle and then Beowulf tears Grendel’s arm off and hangs it from the ceiling of heorot to show his success and victory. Then Grendel’s mother, another swamp monster, comes to heorot for revenge on her son’s death. The theme of Beowulf is bravery and loyalty, and I would say the major conflicts are the fight between Grendel and Beowulf, the fight between Grendel’s mom and Beowulf, and Beowulf and the dragon.
The Main Themes of Beowulf :: Epic of Beowulf Essays
Kaske, Robert E. "Sapientia et Fortitudo as the Controlling Theme of Beowulf," Studies in Philology 55 (1958): 423-57, rpt. Anthology of Beowulf Criticism, (Notre Dame, Ind.): U of Notre Dame P, 1963:269-310.