“Heremod was different,
the way he behaved to Ecgwela’s sons.
His rise in the world brought lithe joy
to the Danish people, only death and destruction.
He vented his rage on men he caroused with,
killed his own comrades, a pariah king
Who cut himself off to his own kind,
Even although Almighty God had made him
eminent and powerful and marked him from the start
for a happy life. But change happened,
He grew bloodthirsty, gave no more things
to honor the Danes. He suffered in the end
for having plagued his people for so long
his life lost happiness.”
This passage from the poem exists for two main reasons for which I can discover. First, the poet uses this story to ensure that Beowulf will stray away from Heremod’s path. The poet continues on with vague examples using figurative languages such as:
“A killer stalks him,
an archer who draws the deadly bow.
And then the man is hit in the heart, the arrow flies beneath his defenses, the devious promptings of the demon start.”
This killer he speaks of his very fictive. No such person has attacked Heremod. What he is trying to explain are the dark desires that exist in every man that must be suppressed in order to receive God’s grace and reserve a table at heaven’s unsurpassed brunch. Heremod let the evil side prevail over his good side and that is explained figuratively by the archer who pierces Heremod’s heart with a deadly arrow. Obviously this evil will lead him to his own destruction and for losing his own happiness in the process. The second reason I have discovered for the existence of this poem is to foreshadow how Beowulf similar to Heremod yet not at the same time will succeed where the evil king had failed. Until his very death, the king of Danes kept pure of heart and therefore leading him to the eteranal treasures after life has passed from his corps.
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