Arjuna and Beowulf vs Larger Society
When looking at literature from the past, one can see the essence of what it meant to live back then. The text paints a portrait of the past, and lets us see some intricacies of their society. By looking at the individual characters specifically we can conclude a lot about the ideal person of that society. Much of ancient literature portrayed the main character as the perfect individual, and is a guide as to how people of the day should live. This can be seen clearly in the ancient texts of Beowulf and the Bhagavad Gita. The two characters are similar but different. Both characters are warriors confronted with obstacles, and from observing their interactions and reasons for doing things, we can form theories about the characters and the societies they lived in. These characters display the epitome of a good individual in their respective culture and time periods, they relate and differ in many ways in their role with the larger society.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna is the main character. Arjuna undergoes an inner conflict as to whether or not he should attack the opposing army, in which he realizes are some of his relatives. This is a tale of personal growth, as he learns from Krishna what it means to be, and what path he should take. In this society an individual has a duty, his dharma which he must follow to keep society and the existence in order. Arjuna is does not want to fight his own relatives, and then Krishna becomes his counsel. Krishna tells Arjuna that he has no reason to grieve for his opponents, he tells Arjuna: “Just as the embodied self enters childhood, youth, and old age, so does it enter another body” (33). Krishna is a God telling him to fight, guiding him along the right path as a warrior. The individual does not die, only moves from one body to the next. Krishna is trying to get Arjuna to fulfill his dharma as a warrior. He tells him not to grieve, only to “look to [his] own...
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