English Literature » Notes » Themes in Beowulf

Themes in Beowulf

Loyalty, bravery, generosity and faith can be portrayed in many ways, however, requires discipline to be attained. “Beowulf” is an epic poem about a warrior who is required to defend a town from a beast which terrorizes and kills all of its people. This warriors name is Beowulf, whose strength and courage is put to test as he fights this beast.

Theme of Loyalty in Beowulf

Beowulf undergos experiences so as to portray loyalty, which involve making sacrifices for the well being of others. Loyalty is expresses in multiple ways, but certain actions can lead to unfaithfulness. The quality of loyalty can be portrayed through strength and true servitude. Beowulf is a warrior who stands against anything to prove his strength. Grendel is a ferocious man-eating beast, and Beowulf takes him down.

..He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke.. (Beowulf, 816-818).

In this quote, Beowulf has defeated Grendel, the beast that no man ever dared to fight. He also portrays his loyalty by serving his people. Beowulf believed his sole purpose in life was to serve his people.

When we crossed the sea, my comrades and I,
I already knew that all my purpose was this: to win the good will of your people, or die in battle..
– Beowulf, 632-635

Beowulf only wanted to serve and protect in his life, nothing more. By using strength for good and serving the people, loyalty is depicted.

Beowulf was wise and loyal character. He gave his life protecting his people.

..Know that the Geats are leaderless, have lost the best of kings, Beowulf- he who held out enemies away..
– Beowulf, 3,iii-3,v

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