Sample Scholarship Essays


Beowulf Beowulf People have been telling stories for centuries. During Anglo Saxon periods, since very few people could read or write, oral tradition was the only way people remembered, and told of dangerous stories. Transcriptions written were those done by many order of monks among those the Benedictine monk. Men in this era were brave, loyal, and a mixed group of Germanic tribes. They lived on Europe’s northern seaboard and southern Scandinavia, they were known as Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and in this case, the Danes.

The Danes brought about a Heroic Epic named Beowulf. Composed of kennings (hyphenated words – two meanings in one) and alliterations, which are the repeating of the consonant sound. In this story the Danes Beliefs and Honor are shown through the actions of Grendal. Beliefs that the Danes had were quite popular, in fact religion was used as a regular basis. In addition, these men and women believed the Pagan concept, in which one is born with fate, In mist, invisibly following them from the edge of the marsh always-there unseen. Secondly, the belief of God was also a higher being that Danes worshiped. For example, The almighty drove those demons out! Finally, Danes also looked for guidance through the Devils hands, Hoping for Hells support the Devils guidance in driving their affliction off.

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Lastly, it’s easy to see the beliefs of Danes conflict with one another. Unlike today, centuries ago ones honor was an extreme necessity to keep valid. For example the word of Beowulf meant life at this point, My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to. Moreover, it was an extreme honor to die on the battlefields for the father, Hail to those who will rise to God, drop off their dead bodies and seek out Fathers peace. Although, mens skills in craftsmanship were also a large honor or value, Together, swollen in hot flames such splendor of ivory and wood. To sum it up, a person’s word, skill, and death was a great honor.

astly, the appearance of Grendal (a dragon or monster) brought dreariness and death towering over many. In contrast Grendals personal living area was also dreary and full of misfortune, He was spawned in that slime conceived by a pair of those monsters burn of Cain, murderous creatures banished my God. In addition Grendals dreariness upon others is of no moral standards, Killing as often as he could, coming alone and blood thirsty and horrible. Even more so, the thoughts of Grendal were expressed with such sickness it’s obvious this creature is evil, And his heart laughed, he relished the sight, intended to tear the life from those bodies. In summary, the lifestyle of Grendal is immensely evil, unfortunately causing pain and conflict for the Danes. Misfortunes caused by Grendal, helped show beliefs and honors of Beowulf and other characters during this time, for example, their opposing beliefs of Pagan, God, and the Devil. Also the value and honor of ones word, skill, and death was of great meaning.

Lastly, Grendals nature of evil, actions, and living all inflict killings. All in all, the good guy always wins. Speech and Communication Essays.


The epic Beowulf shows us how a mans character is tested as he encounters
difficult situations. The unknown author of Beowulf, leaves behind a mystique, an
intriguing quality with which the character which hold our interest. The modern-day
hero, Superman, also possesses these same qualities. Their modest actions are what
helped these heros to become their peoples ideal man.
The first quality that earns a persons respect between Beowulf and Superman is
wealth. Neither of these men had a considerable amount of money. This helps the every
day man relate to them more easily. In the epic, Beowulfs home is far away from his
lords castle. We get the sense that Beowulf is an outcast because of the lengthy distance
to reach his kingdom. In stories such as these, the outcasts are perceived to be the poorer
of the people in the kingdom. Like Beowulf, Superman lives in seclusion from the
society in which he lives. He apartment is purposely set on the opposite side of town
from everyone he works with. In relation to the common mans life-style, we can easily
assume that Superman does not make much money. This fact is defined by Supermans
day job as a reporter for the city of Metropolis.

The ideal man of past and present has to posses the quality of intelligence.
Beowulf shows great intelligence in his approach towards his battles. In his battle with
Grendel, Beowulf uses a soldier for a decoy to expose Grendels strengths:
Grendel snatched at the first Geat
He came to, ripped him apart, cut
His body to bits with powerful jaws,
Drank the blood from his veins and bolted
Him down, hands and feet; death
And Grendels great teeth came together,
Snapping life shut. The he stepped to another
Still body, clutched at Beowulf with his claws,
Grasped at a strong-hearted wakeful sleeper
-And was instantly seized himself. . .(Raffel 314-323).

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This passage shows us how Beowulfs planning ahead led him to victory. By exposing the monsters strengths as well as his tactics, Beowulf was able to counter-attack the monster and win. The second time when Beowulf shows us his intelligence is when he goes fights Grendels mother:
She welcomed him in her claws.

Clutched at him savagely but could not harm him.

Tried to work her fingers through the tight
Ring-woven mail on his breast, but tore
And scratched in vain. . .(Raffel 475-479).

Although his armor did not ultimately stop her, it slowed her down and gave Beowulf
time to overcome her. For Superman, his intelligence comes from experience. Because
of his daily duty of protector of the Earth, Superman reacts instantly to the problems he
faces. When he fights enemies, Superman tries to have the fight on his terms. He lures
the criminals out of the cities, away from the people. If thats not possible he takes care
of business in a quick and orderly fashion. He does this by keeping the innocent
bystander out of the way.

The quality that is the most overwhelming of all is Beowulfs and Supermans
superhuman attributes. For hours he sank through the waves (Beowulf 469). Here
Beowulf is swimming down to fight Grendels mother. Being underwater for so long
makes him supernatural. An ordinary human cant hold their breath for more then a
minute, let alone a few hours. Superman has many superhuman qualities. He has ex-ray
vision which lets him see through wall and other things so he can see what is going on.
He has inferred eye sight with which he is able to melt objects with. Lastly, Superman
has the ability to fly. This quality by itself is what gives him the most admiration by the
people. Seeing a person fly is a great experience for the people of Metropolis.
Not all heroes can fly faster than a speeding bullet, but each hero can share
similar characteristics through the eyes of the perceiver. There is an expectation of what
a hero is supposed to be. Thus, by comparing and contrasting Superman and Beowulfs
traits, we can attribute their qualities to the ideal man. There will be obstacles to face,
but a hero will overcome the challenges as demonstrated by Superman and Beowulf. We
all hold in our heart the ability to become a hero or the ideal man.


Beowulf The Sale of Christianity When reading Beowulf, one must carefully consider the time era with which it is associated with. Consider, if you will, a life that has been based upon numerous fictitious Gods and Goddesses. Your life was truly fated to be whatever the Gods wanted it to be, anything could be blamed on, fate. The afterlife could have been possibly the hardest bit to swallow. Only soldiers dying in battle could gain admission to their form of salvation, named Valhalla, which was only a place to sit and wait for the coming of the end of everything.

You die to get somewhere, and then when you get there you just have to sit and wait until the infamous battle comes that will eventually lead to the destruction of everything. Itd be hard for anyone to take that into their beliefs. For reasons like this, and others, the Anglo-Saxons were a prime people to receive Christianity. Christianity seemed to be a much more people friendly belief. The real turn of religion, came with the conversion of King Edwin. The missionaries knew that if they could turn the heart of a king to Christianity, his people would soon follow.

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Thats just what it did too. Not everyone though was ready to sign right up. The conversion of a people would take longer than it did just the king. That is why we have pieces of Old-English literature that contain hints of both Christianity and pagan principles. Changing the hearts of the people would mean changing literatures stories also.

In this way pieces like Beowulf might seem like a slow sale of Christianity to the pagan people, containing a little of both the beliefs. One of the issues debated, was most likely, the origin of the earths beginning. The Almighty making the earth, shaping-These beautiful plains marked off by oceans. (Ch.1,7-8) It seems like a far stretch going from their pagan ways and Gods to say that just one God created all this. The pagan followers would have probably not liked to see their Gods put out like this.

On the other hand, the story contains many non-Christian demons like Grendel and the dragon, Into a thousand forms of evil-spirits-And fiends, goblins, monsters, giants. (Ch.1,26-27) A type of appeasement for the pagans beliefs, I believe. That point seems to be apparent throughout the whole works, every time a Christian reference is given, a pagan reference is not to much later surfaced in the story. With all the consistent and inconsistent references to both the Christian and pagan beliefs, at some time there would have to be a perplexity of some sorts. This seems to be evident in the quote, But Gods dread loom-Was woven with defeat for the monster.(Ch.1,150-151) This statement had to make someone think blasphemy. God and the Fates loom together seems to be a major juxtaposition.

God and fate are mixed throughout the story complexly. In one of his battles, his victory is Gods will (Ch.2,23), but in his final battle he has to fight, With fate against him.(Ch.3,79) There is extreme inconsistency in this. Is he willed to succeed by God and yet doomed to fate? It seems though the new God is with him yet there is still some overwhelming power that drags him down. This could be one of the ways the literature was written, to make the many Gods seem more unforgiving, and the one God loving. One point, that is quite interesting, are the words that flow out of Beowulfs mouth. It is better for us all-To avenge our friends, not morn them forever/ he who can earn it should fight-For the glory of his name; fame after death-Is the noblest of goals. (Ch.2,56-61) This seems to go against the, turn the other cheek, method.

Pride was probably something also the Anglo-Saxons couldnt do without just yet, so the author probably thought it best to have his hero supported by God and seeking glory and vengeance. All these variables of religion make the story quite interesting. Never quite does the story ever say anything is particularly good or bad. This text way of, Riding the fence, makes this epic, a great one. By never conversing the exact rules of either side, the recipients were free to fall in wherever they liked to in between the two beliefs.

It seemed like the best of both worlds. In this way, the story of Beowulf seems to me to be a slow sale of Christianity to the Anglo-Saxon people, where the people are free to chose the benefits of both values due to the consistencies and inconsistencies of pagan and Christian elements. Mythology.


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