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Erik

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PostSubject: Beowulf    Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:08 pm

A thread dedicated to all things pertaining to Beowulf.


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Before I read the archaic and modern English translations of Beowulf, I saw that animated version of Beowulf the movie. Basically, the animated movie is a spit-in-the-face to the Indo-European heroic tradition; much of the film is not true to the original story. The character of Beowulf ( in the original story ) is generous, uncompromising, and heroic; in the film, he is a liar and cheater.

This thread will delve into the subtext and importance of the story.

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Erik

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PostSubject: Re: Beowulf    Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:08 am

In Beowulf, you will notice a stark contrast between two types of spirits: on the one hand, you have the spirit of generosity, embodied by Beowulf; on the other, you have the complete opposite, the spirit of greed, embodied by the Dragon that hoards the treasure trove.

To a lesser extent, you can see this morbid character of greed in Grendel; he absolutely abhors when other people, in particular, the people of the mead hall, are jolly and celebrating. As an outcast, an outsider, he resents how he has to endure their sounds of joy and celebration, which accentuates his own loneliness, so he eats and kills them, in order to silence his own existential despair. If he can't be happy, then no one will; in this, you see how the spirit of greed makes the soul ugly.


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PostSubject: Re: Beowulf    Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:46 am

Wotan wrote:
If he can't be happy, then no one will

This kind of reminds me of when that ex-military man, Christopher Jordan Dorner, went on a killing spree, i remember he killed a cop's daughter or something and said..

"I never had chance to have my own family so I'm terminating yours"
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Erik

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PostSubject: Re: Beowulf    Sat May 02, 2015 1:09 pm

mannequin wrote:
Wotan wrote:
If he can't be happy, then no one will

This kind of reminds me of when that ex-military man, Christopher Jordan Dorner, went on a killing spree, i remember he killed a cop's daughter or something and said..

"I never had chance to have my own family so I'm terminating yours"

Yes, it's a form of nihilistic resentment; when a weak organism can't cope with its environment and slavish disposition, it seeks to get revenge upon that which accentuates its misery and wretchedness. The organism imagines that these others, who live life happily and festively, are somehow secretly conspiring to rub their fortune in its face. Instead of taking responsibility and initiative, the pitiful creature plays the victim ( hallmark of slave-morality ). Such organisms are only sustained through sheltering.

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PostSubject: Re: Beowulf    Tue May 05, 2015 8:05 am

Beowulf and Capitalism

It's perfectly apt to superimpose the story of Beowulf onto 21st century capitalism. In the days of yore, the days of Beowulf, life was more centered around honor and glory, as opposed to material gain. As previously illustrated, the accumulation of wealth, hoarding, was shunned as a vice, whereas generosity was uplifted as a virtue. Some of this motif could be the corollary of Judeo-Christian influence, an attempt to civilize the heathen; but in my opinion, a paganism of nobility allows for such a theme. When most people think about archaic paganism, images of pre-moral pagans come to mind, such as the Viking raiders; but Beowulf gives us a much different picture. More to the point: Beowulf is a good reminder to us about what we ought to consider to be valuable; will we live our lives for the accumulation of material wealth, like the dragon? Or will we live a life centered around nobility, around honor and glory?

Personally, I believe that capitalism has a tendency to vitiate any attempt at nobility; instead of prioritizing nobility, people are simply interested in promoting their own material interest - everything ultimately spills over into matters of money, materiality. How can any augmentation of a better humanity take place, when greed is knocking at the door?




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PostSubject: Re: Beowulf    Mon May 11, 2015 6:59 am

Beowulf and Christianity

There is much debate about whether Beowulf was originally a story created by Indo-European pagans, passed down orally, or if it was the concoction of Christians, in order to civilize the heathens. The story is set in a time when Christianity was superseding the pagan gods. There was a tension between the old gods and the weeping martyr; you can detect this tension throughout the story.

The conflict is between a virile, heroic ethos ( Indo-European Paganism ) and a sickly, slavish ethos ( Christianity ). Paganism valued honor, courage, and strength, whereas Christianity valued its opposite: humility, meekness, and passivity.


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