I really enjoyed reading this epic tale. I found Beowulf to be one of the more intriguing reads on the list so far. For starters, I definitely enjoyed the copious amounts of pictures throughout the epic. The edition I purchased at the bookstore made reading it much more enjoyable, and grasped my attention way more than reading the tale just as a normal paperback. Maybe I’m just more of a visual learner, but having pictures to connect to the lines I read helped me better understand Beowulf as a whole.
I think a big question throughout reading this particular piece, is deciphering who the real monsters are. Initially, we think that Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon are all very monstrous characters. Initially, this thought makes sense. However, I have come to realize, that my thoughts regarding this matter are quite inaccurate. I’ve come to realize, that all these characters are not monstrous, for they all show a sense of vulnerability, and a reason for the way the act. Grendel merely just wants to fit in, his mother just wants to avenge her son’s death like any other mother would want to, and the dragon is only protecting what is rightfully his. I have come to better understand these characters, and their lack of monstrosity. Rather than showing disdain towards them, or view them as antagonists against Beowulf, I actually grew to like them. From reading this, I have learned that what we sometimes wrongfully perceive characters as being monstrous, and lacking any logical and acceptable reason for the way they act. However, in the case of Beowulf, I have indeed learned otherwise.
Having read Beowulf, I learned of the importance his assistance and presence was to others. The influence and impact that he had on many lives as a man to look up to, a man people seek for answers and help in difficult times. Beowulf clearly demonstrates his immense heroic sense of character, as heroism is most definitely a major theme in this epic poem as a whole. This epic tale is also quite a tragedy as well. We witness Beowulf’s life come to an end, in spite of the great contributions he made. Beowulf is a man who fought for his community, and did everything in his power to protect them from any evil.
All in all, I found Seamus Heany’s translation of Beowulf to be a very good read. I thoroughly enjoyed the piece as a whole, and I greatly applaud Beowulf for his heroic gestures, and the noble man that he is.