The story of Beowulf is full of vigor and excitement; it is also composed of many different elements especially when talking about the characters and their psychological complexity. When talking about the story of Beowulf we need to recall that it was written around 1000 A.D. therefore, we would assume that the characters are not fully developed or that they cannot compare in complexity to the characters of today’s novels. However, I find this untrue, the characters in Beowulf are more dynamic and have greater moral value when compared and contrasted to characters in most modern day novels.
When we think of the epic “Beowulf” the first thing that comes to mind is the main character of the story Beowulf himself. Throughout the story he is by far the most dynamic character and we see more of his inner self than anyone else in the story. We witness Beowulf develop from an upstart young man into a wise, courteous, old king. For example, we observe this change mostly in the reason that he fights; when he was young Beowulf fought for himself, for self glory, at the end of the epic (in the fight with the dragon) we see that he fights for his people selflessly and without care for his own safety. In his younger days Beowulf fought Grendel without weapons so that the fight would be on fair terms, but when we look upon Beowulf when he is older, he does not leave behind any advantage when he pits himself against the dragon, it is this unique change that tells us so much about how he feels about the dragon as apposed to how he felt of Grendel when they did battle. In that battle Beowulf wanted to prove himself, so he did not use weapons so that the fight would be on even terms; conversely, in the battle with the dragon he was protecting his people so he used all his weapons and skills to defeat the beast, he wanted to ensure that he would not lose at any cost.
While looking for a modern day novel to contrast with Beowulf I found an enormous series of novels written by...
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