Entirely different intentions can be given to the same story if the narrator chooses. Writers use elements like point of view, tone, imagery, and details to depict their stories. The original epic of Beowulf, unknown author, was used by Richard Wilbur to write his poem “Beowulf.” Each writer depicts Beowulf and his adventures in Denmark. However, there is a difference in purpose for these two pieces of writing. To compare and contrast how each writer presents Beowulf and his adventures will show the difference in purpose for each piece.
Beowulf was a story told many years before being written down sometime in the tenth century. The Anglo-Saxon narrative poem about two Scandinavian tribes, the Geats and the Danes, reflects Christian traditions along with ideals of the epic hero such as, loyalty, valor, unselfishness, and a sense of justice.
Beowulf, a Geat, sails from his land to help a village of Danes. Grendal, an evil monster, has been killing men and ravaging the Danish King Hrothgar’s banquet hall called Hero. Beowulf and his fourteen men arrive to help, but it is Beowulf who kills the monster. This battle is one of three described in the poem. The second struggle pits Beowulf against Grendal’s mother. The third and final battle, fifty years later against a dragon, ends the life of Beowulf.
Beowulf, the hero, is described as “the strongest of the Geats” and “stronger than anyone anywhere in the world.” Beowulf boasts to Hrothgar, “I drove five great giants into chains, chased all of that race from the earth. I swam in the blackness of the night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them on by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned.”
In this warrior society, combat is glorified. There is blood and horror as warriors smash shining swords, slashing and stabbing with sharp points. Beowulf says “If weapons were useless he’d use/ His hands…So fame/ comes to the men who mean to win it/ and care about nothing else!”...