Reevaluating the Role of Women in Beowulf

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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.

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...
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