Beowulf Essay | Beowulf- How the Legacy Lived

Gareth Hinds
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Beowulf- How the Legacy Lived

Summary: The epic poem "Beowulf" is set in a society where neither words nor needs are independently stable, but demonstrates that some deeds may gain the rare power of preservation in an ironically symbiotic relationship with language.
"Talk is cheap" is a fairly common modern expression for society's elevation of actions over expressions. However, even in man's earliest age, when speech was not necessarliy considered "cheap" but definately second to great deeds, language was still the only medium of sharing ideas and the sole shaky tie that held together a clan in commonality. The poem "Beowulf" is set in a society where neither words nor needs are independently stable, but demonstrates that some deeds may gain the rare power of preservation in an ironically symbiotic relationship with language.

The prologue in Beowulf begins by unfolding the geneology of it's characters, describing the deeds of their ancestors and introducing a pattern of cultural emphasis of identity through this lengthy geneology. When discussing the greatness of Beow, son of Shield Sheafson, the narrator explains "Behaviour that's admired is the path to power among people...

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This section contains 1,116 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on Beowulf- How the Legacy Lived
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