First Impressions

Initially, I found the Old English used within Beowulf disheartening, because I didn’t understand it much. However, upon reading re-reading it I actually enjoyed it thoroughly. I enjoyed the huge boost of egoism and machismo found within it (mainly Beowulf hisself when speaking of killing off Grendal), as well as, the bourgeoisie displayed by Hrothgar. In terms of confusion I found the timing of the stories within stories to be a bit strange and could not tell wether it meant time was moving forward or backward in the poem.


“Beowulf” displays an immense sense of nationhood. This sense is evoked in Beowulfs’ boasting of his Swedish pride once arriving at King Hrothgars land and announcing his good will upon the soldiers, as well as, Hrothgar later on. Additionally, the feeling of nationhood is once again felt when Hrothgar explains to Beowulf that he is forever indebted to him and send him back home with heaps of gold. In these situations Sweden can be viewed as a heroic country and Denmark can be seen as a country with a thankful king whom is also generous in regards to favors owed. Lastly, this can be seen in the title of the first Prologue “THE RISE OF THE DANISH NATION”


Along with nationhood, lineage also plays a huge part in this epic. The poem starts off by stating who was what and who was whom within the Danish kingdom. Further along, when Beowulf arrives at Herot the king mentions Beowulfs’ father and the good deeds they had accomplished together and for one another in battle. These instances allow for the idea that lineage and nationhood, that is who a character is and where he/she comes from, matter a great deal. As the adage states, your reputation, in this case Beowulfs’, precedes you.



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