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Modern Relevance of Beowulf

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bmore1991
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Modern Relevance of Beowulf
The epic “Beowulf” tells of a courageous Geat warrior who comes to the aid of Hrothgar, King of the Danes, when his people are plagued by two demons from the Cain ancestry line. With his courage and strength, Beowulf defeats the two evils that cause terror and destruction among the townspeople. Several years later, Beowulf, now king of his people, must put an end to the fire-spewing dragon that has taken refuge on his land. The intense battle between Beowulf and the dragon end in the death of both opponents. Beowulf left behind a long and great legacy that leaves his people speechless and heart-broken for their fallen hero. Even though this Anglo-Saxon epic was written between the fifth and seventh century, it carries many similarities to modern day society. The similarities can be seen in modern literature and pop culture, the comitatus, the various struggles that occur, and the qualities that make up a great leader.
The poem epic has left a huge print on modern day writers and pop culture. Its influence can be seen in many modern fantasies from J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy “Lord of the Rings” and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. J. R. R. has been known to be one of the few scholars that have seriously contributed his works to Beowulf. In “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” he states how Anglo-Saxon literature had a long-lasting effect on present thoughts. Similarities between the Anglo-Saxon themes and ideas can be found throughout the trilogy along with the Old English derivation of the character and location names. For example, the root word searu-, which means "treachery” or “cunning,” appears in the name Saruman – whom devoted Tolkien fans will recognize as a major antagonist in the fantasy novels; and the Old English word for earth, middan-geard, becomes Middle-earth, the aptly-named fantasy world of the novels (neh)....

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