Beowulf Essay

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Nolan Kmiec

The similarities and differences within Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales are quite evident after reading both texts. Both authors, Beowulf, by Anonymous and The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer use literary devices to convey their message in each poem. There are similarities and differences within characters, tone, images and symbols. Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales are two similar poems but are written with different styles and literary devices.

Beowulf and The Miller’s Tale are great examples of two poems that share similarities, yet provide a contrast between the mores of the 14th century and our current society. In both poems, for instance, the traits of the characters portray social values which are different from society today. In Beowulf, the characters are depicted as brave, strong, kind and devoted to their leaders. The characters suggest that society during this time valued loyalty, obedience and glory. Characters were recognized for their strength and success in battle. Beowulf is first mentioned and described as the greatest warrior alive. Beowulf states, “So every elder and experienced councilman among my people supported my resolve to come here to you, King Hrothgar, because all knew of my awesome strength” (Beowulf, 36). In modern society, men are valued for their good looks or wealth and not their success as a warrior. In The Miller’s Tale, the characters are also portrayed in a way that is different than society today. The miller emphasizes that intelligence is the most important characteristic in a person and not wealth. He talks about Nicholas and how his intelligence helped him trick the carpenter. Although the carpenter was wealthy, this did not give him an advantage when it came to Nicholas’s plan. Society today is focused more on wealth and status instead of education. People believe that education is not needed as long as you are wealthy, and that you will have an advantage in life as long as you have money. This...
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