Dante Versus Beowulf Personal Serving English Literature Essay

Dante versus Beowulf: Self-serving or God-seeking? Two classical pieces of books, both with amazing protagonists, were written in completely different cultural contexts resulting in striking dissimilarities between them. Dante Alighieri wrote Inferno in the first 14th century as a literary response to all or any of the politics happenings of Florence. The epic poem Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem reflective of medieval warring culture in American Europe. These two literary heroes discuss their love of God but have little else in common. Beowulf is very one-dimensional figure while Dante's persona alters through his trip into hell. Dante's heart and soul goal for his journey is his love for God while all of Beowulf's actions provide as means for his own ends.

The development of Beowulf is not really a growing process. The reader views more edges to Beowulf's figure further across the story but he is very much a static character. In the end, Beowulf continues to be the headstrong warrior who bravely charges headfirst into battle. "Beowulf spoke, made a formal boast for the last time: I risked my entire life often while i was young. Now I am old, but as ruler of people I shall go after this deal with for the glory of earning, if the evil one is only going to depart his earth-fort and face me in the wild. " (Beowulf lns. 2510-15) Looking again on his battle with Grendel, which he did almost as a proof of the reputation he previously built so far, that combat was quite definitely for his own glory and the good of the individuals just as he now says before he goes to battle the dragon. The motivations that yank him into fight are the same. This perfect hero is largely the same in his final challenge as he was when he first showed up to save lots of the Danes. Beowulf is a hero in a heroic epic- designed on purpose to be perfect in every the techniques his culture deemed as the best features. He's beautiful, strong, fearless and very very pleased- all the qualities which were esteemed by the warrior culture. Beowulf's one-dimensional excellence is completely different from Dante's everyman.

Dante's pilgrim shows much development in his identity as he journeys through hell. He's vunerable to strong emotion initially of his journey- fainting from pity twice in the first six cantos and bursting into tears countless other times. Dante does make the transition from bleeding-heart to a man who argues and fight back against the sinners (albeit a hypocritical action). Dante is quick to obtain pity on the indegent souls initially but it with the capacity of harsh talk and action later on. Dante's pilgrim is a symbol for the everyman while Beowulf is a hero who is there to save lots of the everyman. Even at the beginning of canto 1, Dante feels lost which is something that Beowulf's heroic excellence maintains him from ever experiencing. It is this change and expansion of Dante as he detects his way back to God that shows his true identity development.

As stated previously, Beowulf is a "perfect" hero and static personality but when his actions are dissected, he can be viewed as self-serving. The grand Geatish warrior has strong ties and allegiances to his homeland as well as Ruler Hrothgar however in the end it can be figured a great deal of his actions are for his own gain. Inside a culture that performed the leaving behind of an glorious legacy as important, most of Beowulf's actions appear to be in large part establish on this goal. Whether he's acting as a fair king, a guy of God or a courageous and skilled warrior, his selections always build his greatness. His need to essentially show off is clear in his choice to struggle Grendel with no weapons. "So that it will not be a leading edge I'll wield to mow him down, easily as I might. He does not have any idea of the arts of warfare, of shield or sword-play, although he does indeed possess a outrageous power. No weapons, therefore, for either this evening: unarmed he shall face me if face me he dares. " (Beowulf lns. 879-87) Still creating his legacy - "I marched ahead of him, always there at the front end of the lines; and I will fight like that for so long as I live" (3143-3144). Beowulf will his fighting in the most dangerous way he can because of his beliefs that this is how he wins favor with God. The old man that dies by the end isn't that different. Not really a positive feature to be so focused on one's own legacy but given the context of his medieval Western european culture, it was natural and seen as positive.

Dante's Inferno revolves completely around his voyage to be with God, while Beowulf already recognizes himself as in the favor of God. While on his sojourn through hell, Dante toughens up from his bleeding-heart to arguing and fighting with each other against souls in hell. In canto 33, Dante berates Bocca and threatens him, declaring, "Either you name yourself, or no more of flowing hair will be kept. " (Dante 32. 98-32. 99) Unlike Beowulf, Dante has empathy in spades however the further he venture through hell, a lot more hypocritical his activities become. The pilgrim's pity for the lost souls is overtaken by his condemning of the sinners which makes him a party to the very sins that he is condemning. These activities show that the pilgrim is, in the long run, simply human and is not better than anyone else. He is the everyman who is just as with the capacity of sin an other people. His degree of frustration develop the further he should go and he unleashes his anger on the lost souls. However the key difference between those who find themselves paying for their sins in hell and Dante is that his activities are from the host to love for God. These sinners have been deemed so and Dante is moving through to reach God.

Although Beowulf is a very one-dimensional character, he is the culmination of each perfect attribute had a need to build a great warrior. His only flaw is based on his glory-seeking dynamics which isn't to be blamed on any weakness of his but on the culture that the poet behind this epic was surrounded and inspired by. Dante is much more human being. He feels overpowering pity, empathizes with sinners, and cries for their sorrows but he also becomes hypocritical in his activities towards those sinners. Beowulf is a young hero who is fearless and strong as well as prideful. Dante's pilgrim is also brave but also has a more delicate side that feels deep emotions for those he considers around him in the depths of the inferno. Both Dante and the poet of Beowulf wrote lead characters that contain light characteristics as well as darker ones.

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