Beowulf

Beowulf: Not a Quest 12th Grade

Beowulf is an epic tale of a hero seeking out fame and fortune. Beowulf is a young, strong and prideful man who wants to prove himself as the greatest person, and ultimately gain kingship in his own land. Thomas Foster’s chapter, “Every Trip is a Quest(Except When It’s Not)” lays out the rules of a quest. In order for a trip to be a quest it must first contain: a quester, a place to go, a stated reason for going there, challenges and trials along the way, and then the real reason to go there. The real reason for a quest is always self- knowledge(Foster 3). Beowulf- though it at first appears to be a quest by satisfying the first four rules- is not a quest because he never attains self- knowledge. From the very beginning, Beowulf seems like a quest. There is the quester, Beowulf, on a journey to achieve glory. He goes to Herot to help rid the mead hall of Grendel. Though his real reason has nothing to do with defending from Grendel, he goes to kill Grendel in order to prove his strength, which is his stated reason but another less clear reason is his quest for fame, not knowledge. He doesn’t want to know if he is truly the greatest, he just wants to be perceived as the greatest. So automatically the first three rules are...

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