The Symbolism of Rings in Beowulf 9th Grade

Rings are to medieval lords and retainers as medals are to athletes: a reward that is earned through hard work and dedication to a cause that makes them feel both empowered and worthwhile, while at the same time reminding them to work harder and strive to be better in the future. In the epic poem Beowulf, rings, which are often looked at as simple pieces of jewelry, are in fact symbolic of ideas, values, and power; thereby becoming much more than a piece of metal or the image of a circle, but a representation of the promises, prosperity, protection, and authority that are ever-present throughout the text. As the story progresses, readers discover the different lights in which rings are referred to and discussed, showcasing a varied perspective on their importance and symbolism. The ring is symbolic of all the ideals of proper dynastic leadership and the quintessential relationship between a king, his lords, and his retainers.

Rings are symbolic of the promise to uphold the ideals of the land, be a good citizen, and to always follow through when doing so is expected. All through the story, readers are reminded of the relationship between a king and his lords and retainers. The king provides protection and generosity to the lords...

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