Beowulf is a Geatish hero who fights the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. The Beowulf poet, rightly, does not perform this separation. While some scholars have made attempts to show that the digressions, or some of them at least, have something in them which is inappropriate to the main narrative and are detrimental to the poetic value of Beowulf, this essay will argue that the digressions and episodes provide a conscious balance and unity and, in fact, contribute to the artistic value of the poem. As Bonjour observes, the poet adeptly uses digressions to add to the coloring of the poem, to serve as a foil to a given situation, to contribute to the historical interest and significance, to provide symbolic value which contributes to the effect and understanding of the poem, and to heighten artistic effect. The art of boasting is important in an epic hero as it showcases his accomplishments and glorifies his name.
However, the respective careers of Heremod and Modthryth are exactly opposite. It is the oldest surviving important piece of literature and exists in only one manuscript known as British Library Cotton Vitellius A. The chapter talks about some other ruler when the story is about Beowulf. There is no appreciable variation from uniform linguistic and metrical characteristics. This illustrates another example of the poet telling his story with a kind of structural irony which alternates prosperous with tragic events. Beowulf, on the other hand, is first despised but he has now grown into a glorious hero.
Next we will look at the digression on Beowulf's inglorious youth and Heremod's tragedy in conjunction. Sigemund and Heremod are introduced to give Beawulf a benchmark. Here are some examples of digression: I hate people who do not respect others. Anderson sums up the significance of the digressions when he writes: The poet drew his settings from the scenic repertory of the older heroic lay, but he strung the traditional scenes together with a moralizing commentary in the form of digressions, flashbacks, boasts, reflective speeches, and a persistent emphasis on unexpected reversals-all tending to underscore the peaks and valleys of human experience. We get a description of Hygelac's yard before Beowulf's arrival, and here begins the digression. Bonjour suspects that this whole digression is certainly meant to praise the hero.
It is a story of 3 agons or struggles. Obviously, the author uses Wiglaf's messengers as a means to predict the fate that awaits the Geatish nation. Due to the apparent shortage of credible primary sources pertaining to the time in question, it becomes ever more clear why this sole thread of Anglo-Saxon literature is so heavily investigated by those in the field. As we have seen in this essay, there are simply too many examples of premonition, careful contrast, and parallelism for the digressions carelessly thrown into the mix. All-knowing God Must have sent you such words; nothing so wise From a warrior so young has ever reached These ancient ears.
While Sigemund is killing monsters for his own success and to get the throne, Beowulf does it out of compassion for his people and states that he would never in a million years, overthrow Heardred for the throne, even if many people would support the idea. Bonjour states that the visual appearance of wyrd below is of fantastic great importance as it gives us the keynote of not only the digression, but of the full ending of the poem. On this place, Bonjour mentions that the contrast inherent among a harmonious situation and a short intimation of catastrophe provides to the impression of melancholy in which so considerably of the poem is steeped. Heremod's tragedy defines, albeit negatively, what a good king should be. Here, William Alfred remarks that Hrothgar is established up as the heroic king of a faithful comitatus, but all of a sudden, what begins as a description of the remarkable halls of Heorot breaks down into an account of its destruction by fireplace in a feud.
However, the respective careers of Heremod and Modthryth run exactly opposite courses. The dragons are massive beings that guard an enormous hoard of treasures and valuable metals; the Kings feel fight honorably to protect the people and defeat the beast. The Scyld episode allows the poet the use of two of his favorite devices: parallelism and contrast. As we shall see later, if the Danes had not been glorified at the beginning of the poem, the size of Beowulf might have diminished. He could have stopped a debate for going on for centuries.
But why should there be a necessary separation here? The peace, however, is short-lived and the Finn episode points directly to the theme of the precarious truce between the two peoples. Beowulf, on the other hand, is despised at first, but he has now grown into a glorious hero. At this point, new writing and ancient tradition come together. But the poet in his own voice tells us of the true genealogy of the Grendelkin: they are the monstrous descendents of Cain. At first glance, the opening of the poem with Scyld and the genealogy of the Danish kings in a poem about Beowulf, a geat heroes, seems strangely out of place. But upon further study, a significant parallelism can be found between Scyld and Beowulf. The rare note of joy in the beauty of nature contrasts deeply with the melancholy inspired by the dreary abode of Grendel.
The brief digression on Beowulf's inglorious youth is just another touch that contributes to the glorification of the hero. The poem has circular structure as it begins and ends with the story of an aged king with great accomplishments, and it sets the tone for what type of leader Beowulf must be in order to defeat Grendel, the monster attacking the mead-hall. This contrast is even greater in comparison to the situation at the Danish court where Hrothulf occupies the throne of his uncle. Tell us of these things, beginning where you will, Goddess, Daughter of Zeus. Very first, each Scyld and Beowulf came miraculously to liberate the Danes. She begins as a cruel and tyrannical princess, but once redeems herself on the Anglican throne on Offa's side. He is toted as the greatest hero inhis time within the story.