Beowulf and The Divine Comedy Essay
Beowulf and The Divine Comedy Essay

Beowulf and The Divine Comedy Essay

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  • Pages: 4 (877 words)
  • Published: January 19, 2022
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The author of Beowulf wrote the poem to explain different features of the Anglo Saxon Culture. For one to be regarded as a hero, he or she had to be a warrior with qualities of intelligence, courage and strength. Warriors had the task of solving hard situations for the people they lived with. They had to face challenges and tough situations that made them better in their stand. They were also expected to remain strong irrespective of the challenges that they faced (Swanton, 72). In Beowulf, the hero is presented as a strong character, resistant to tough situations a character portrayed by Beowulf. Besides being strong and having admirable features to the people in his community, Beowulf is humble as compared to the other warriors who he works with. He is not corrupt as they are


and his strength is portrayed time after time. He is not shaken by the things that he faces such as fighting the sea monsters and the fire breathing dragon. Beowulf is portrayed as a character who is not easily giving up due to hard times that he faces.

On the other hand, The Divine Comedy is a poem explaining the different stages in the afterlife of people. after death, there is a journey which people go through to achieve happiness. There are three stages of inferno, purgatorio and paradise that every dead person goes through. As a hero, Dante begins his journey at inferno where he is assisted by Virgil. He is exposed to the experiences that people go through in this stage before going to purgatory. He learns that there are different types of suffering that every sinful sou

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goes through once in the journey (Dante, 79). After the purgatorio stage, Virgil is a pagan who cannot go to paradise which calls for Beatrice to assist Dante in going to paradise. The hero in The Divine Comedy is presented as an enduring person who can endure harsh conditions in life. Dante, the hero, cannot make it alone to paradise. He relies heavily on the assistance of his friends Virgil and Beatrice to achieve his success. According to the author of the poem, who is the main character, there is the need of taking support from other people around one for them to be successful heroes.

There are differences between the two poems where in Beowulf, the journey is a physical one. Beowulf has a life surrounded by situations that make him fight with desire to remain successful. He encounters different enemies but this does not make him give up on his passion to being a hero and a role model. He is involved in physical fights that call for application of his energy and determination (Swanton, 107). On the other hand, in The Divine Comedy, Dante is in a spiritual journey where he faces the afterlife events. He sees how people suffer as a result of being sinners in the real world and the punishments that one faces to become fully accepted in Paradiso. In this case, Dante explains that the journey to spiritual victory is full of challenges. For one to be successful in this journey, they have to be strong and accept the assistance offered by other people. the two poems explain that every journey of becoming a hero has challenges. The ability

to overcome the challenges is determined by the ability to maintain a positive attitude, a winning spirit.

According to Beowulf, the early mediaval hero is portrayed as a person who portrayed his strength and abilities to overcome challenges. In the early history, challenges were presented as physical occurrences such as war and enemies. When a person was able to fight against enemies or win a war, they were considered heros and people admired their character of boldness and courage. On the other hand, the late mediaval hero as presented by The Divine Comedy is the person who has the ability to control their mind and fight spiritual wars that cannot be seen. Their courage is determined by the ability to make the right decisions on the issues facing them.The audience has changed over time so that the past audiences were thrilled by what people could do using their physical bodies. However, the audiences have changed and have the understanding that being a hero does not depend on physical strengths and courage but rather, the brain defines it. For instance, in Beowulf, the hero was appreciated due to his strength to overcome the threats that he faced while in The Divine Comedy the hero goes through a struggle that is spiritual and his emergence as a hero is based on the fact that he got to his destination (Dante, 89). Additionally, in the historical mediaval heroes knew it in their minds that they were strong and that everyone admired them. For instance, Beowulf faces the monster having in mind that people will applause him for his mighty act. On the other hand, Dante does not expect anyone

to recognize his spiritual struggle but is assured that his success will make impact on the people who will witness it.

Work Cited

  1. Dante, Alighieri, and Henry F. Cary. The Divine Comedy: The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell. London: Bibliolis, 2010. Print.
  2. Swanton, Michael. Beowulf. Manchester, U.K: Manchester University Press, 1997. Print.
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