Reevaluating the Role of Women in Beowulf

Interpretive/Reflective Essay The Old English heroic epic of Beowulf has been told for centuries, its one of the first known stories ever documented. It really reflects the values and ideals of life during the Anglo Saxon time period. One reoccurring theme that I have noticed throughout the entirety of not only Beowulf but other Anglo Saxon stories was courage. Courage in the story of Beowulf was the basis of the story and how it ties into the storyline.

Beowulf never backs down to a challenge, but with courage comes a price, did Beowulf make his decisions out of courage, and if he did were they the best for himself and the greater good of the people? Courage was portrayed throughout the epic of Beowulf, without courage, your life will be dull and nothing amazing will come of it.

Some people believe that life has a purpose, that god put them on earth to do something specific, and that if you live life unguided, fate will take action.

Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked. ” (572-573) In this quote, Beowulf says otherwise, he means by this quote that sometimes you must ignore fate and make decisions with your gut by being courageous. In other words, if you live your life day to day doing the same routine things without taking chances, nothing will become more than routine, more than average. It is this quote that sets up the basis for the rest of the story; because throughout the story Beowulf’s sheer nerves accept many various challenges.

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We make hundreds of decisions a day, some decisions are so important that they can determine the course of our lives. There are two ways a decision could be made, the average normal decision, and sometimes were presented with a dangerous gamble that takes a quite a bit of courage to accept. In the movie Jaws, everybody said that to capture or kill the monster of a shark “Jaws” it would be nearly impossible and only someone crazy would attempt to do such a thing. But it took an enormous amount of courage to accept the challenge of taking on Jaws.

Without courage, our lives would be dull and uneventful. Courage is a virtue that is very rare to come by, but when it is applied to life, great things can happen. In Beowulf, if Beowulf wasn’t so courageous, the story itself wouldn’t have existed. If life is taken day by day and we turn down life changing opportunities because we are scared, we will never be great. Courage and bravery add up to fame and glory. “So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by? and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.?

We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns. ” (1-3) This quote from Beowulf is exactly the theme of my point, courage is the ultimate form of greatness. Our ability to make life changing decisions tell us about ourselves and how much we are willing to put ourselves out there in order to achieve greatness. I admire Beowulf’s courage and bravery because me myself could be more courageous. Society looks down upon things that are different, but sometimes doing something different can lead to something great.

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Reevaluating the Role of Women in Beowulf. (2019, Jun 20). Retrieved from

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