The Theme Of Father/Son Relationships In Beowulf & The Song Of Roland



The representation of father-son type relationships in early Medieval
literary works is a key theme early authors used to give their works more depth
and meaning. Two works that use the theme of father-son relationships are
Beowulf and The Song of Roland. In Beowulf, the relationship between Hrothgar
and Beowulf is one in which there is no actual blood father-son tie, but the two
characters take on all the characteristics of a real father son relationship.
Hrothgar, although Beowulf's senior, has to rely on this new warrior who comes
to Heorot to help him rid his kingdom of a great danger which he can not get
rid of by himself, and Hrothgar treats him as if he were his own son. In ...

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various different aspects of life during
their time.

In Beowulf, the function of the relationship between Hrothgar and
Beowulf helps to further the plot in several ways. Whenever there is a reliance
on family in any literary work, it gives any story more meaning and significance.
When Beowulf first arrives in Hrothgars' hall, we get a sense of the old and
incapable state Hrothgar is in "old and gray-haired among the guard of earls"
(Beowulf, pg. 62) is how he is first described. When hearing who Beowulf's
father is he states in a joyous tone "I knew him when he was a child!..Well does
the son now pay this call on a proven ally!" (Beowulf, pg. 62-63) Immediately
there is a fond relationship here which will develop even further. When
Beowulf claims that he is in Heorot to cleanse the people of the monster named
Grendel who is plaguing them, Hrothgar is very grateful and he states "So it is
to fight in our defence, my friend Beowulf, and as an act of kindness that you
have come ...

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in Charles' mind and all the others
involved. When hearing of the betrayal Roland states "Where are you, fair
nephew? ……God!" , Says the King, "how bitter my reproach, that I was absent when
they struck the first blow" (The Song of Roland, sect. 177) in utter
desperation. When later Charles finds out Roland has definitely been slain by
the Paynims, while lying down to sleep he thinks of his nephew who he thought of
as a son. "Charles lies awake and weeps for Roland's plight…The King is weary,
for grief weighs on his eyes; " (The Song of Roland, sect. 184) The deep pain in
Charles heart is different than in Beowulf, because Charles is in mourning,
while Hrothgar was joyous, and while ...

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The Theme Of Father/Son Relationships In Beowulf & The Song Of Roland. (2005, July 15). Retrieved May 25, 2017, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Theme-Father-Son-Relationships-Beowulf-Song/30081
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"The Theme Of Father/Son Relationships In Beowulf & The Song Of Roland." Essayworld.com. July 15, 2005. Accessed May 25, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Theme-Father-Son-Relationships-Beowulf-Song/30081.
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Added: 7/15/2005 01:47:38 AM
Category: English
Words: 1623
Pages: 6

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