Essay On Symbolism In Beowulf

Topics: Hunting, Poetry, Fiction Pages: 2 (488 words) Published: September 20, 2015


Symbolism is used many times throughout the epic poem Beowulf. Key symbols are used to represent a variety of objects, people, and places. For instance Heorot Hall, swords, the sea, the mere, and the water are some of the most commonly used symbols throughout Beowulf . The use of symbols provides the readers with a more visual idea of the epic poem. Establishing the importance of each symbol allows readers to understand the behaviors of the characters. The author uses symbols to show that Anglo- Saxons have embedded it’s original theme of high ideals and heroes in the epic poem.

King Hrothgar’s mead-hall, also called Heorot Hall, which is named in Old English. Hrothgar’s lavish, wealthy - where his warriors gather to drink, feast, and hold court- is named for this majestic animal, a male deer. Deers are considered to be prey animals. They’re hunted by both man and predators. Knowing this information, readers can assume that...

Hrothgar gives Beowulf a sword after he kills Grendel (Beowulf 1022). Unferth lends Hrunting to Beowulf to fight Grendel’s mother (Beowulf 1458). This sword fail to do any damage to the monster, so Beowulf grabs a sword from her horde of treasure (Beowulf 1557). The sword decapitates her, but the metal blade melts when it comes in contact with her poisonous blood. There is also, a gem-studded sword that King Hygelac gives Beowulf to celebrate his great deeds (Beowulf 2193). Different weapons are used for various purposes, and where one sword fail another one will succeed. The most questionable thing in Beowulf is - Why the swords won’t do their jobs? The readers can infer that this is, because Beowulf does better when he uses his own God giving strength against the monsters. Weapons are almost like cheating, because they give him a artificial temporary advantage over the monsters. Beowulf's heroism is greater than any weapon could ever compare, or make...
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