Revenge In Beowulf and Dante's Inferno

Beowulf and Violent, Epic Revenge

Dante and Moral, Literary Revenge


Revenge, violence, obligations to one's past name, obligations to one's family name, and obligations to one's society as an individual possessing unusual personal prowess are all themes integral to the tale of "Beowulf." In his manifestly epic and national tale of self-definition and military struggle, Beowulf manifests himself as an heroic individual possessing a great name and a great reputation as a warrior. However, this reputation does not merely bring him delights, because of his assumption of a valorous name. Rather, this reputation requires the hero to fulfill greater obligations to the world and to ...

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or die trying. Yet even Grendel does not exist outside of the economy of family reputation and revenge. As her son was violently killed, so Grendel's mother returns to act against the man who killed her monstrous son, resulting in an even bloodier battle and conquest for Beowulf. However, while once Beowulf merely killed Grendel to uphold a preexisting name and reputation for himself, now he must triumph in the general economy of violence and revenge that exists in the society around him.
Revenge does not have to be a physical economy of slaughter, however. Even an act of literary writing on a cultural level can be a kind of violence. By including individuals in his "Inferno" Dante enacts a kind of literary revenge against those whom he disliked in his life. True, this act of vengeance has a historical and a psychological aspect to it, as those who read the poem in its contemporary context would know the families from whence certain members of the Italian nobility sprung. ...

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Added: 8/17/2016 03:28:10 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 660
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