The Theme Of Father Son Relationships In Beowulf — страница 2

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my reproach, that I was absent when they struck the first blow” (The Song of Roland, sect. 177) in utter desperation. When later Charles finds out Roland has definitely been slain by the Paynims, while lying down to sleep he thinks of his nephew who he thought of as a son. “Charles lies awake and weeps for Roland’s plight?The King is weary, for grief weighs on his eyes; ” (The Song of Roland, sect. 184) The deep pain in Charles heart is different than in Beowulf, because Charles is in mourning, while Hrothgar was joyous, and while Hrothgar could be proud of his son Beowulf, Charles feels as if he has let his son down bye letting this whole situation happen when he trusted the evil Ganelon. He then goes on with a new vigor to destroy those who killed Roland and the Franks,

and the resulting battle can be seen as a revenge mission for Charles, which further helps to give the story more depth. Although the result of the two father-son relationships is different in some of the respects that are stated above, both relationships are essential in establishing the plot of the two works and giving the reader a sense of all the intricate forces that were at work in the two societies. The person who wields the power in the two stories also varies in each work. In Beowulf, Hrothgar is seen as old and unable to challenge the forces of evil that have befallen his kingdom, and Beowulf is seen as the young powerful warrior who will bring a new energy to the fight against evil. Beowulf’s arrival marks a time when the son is taking over from the father the

responsibilities of a great threat, and further help to give the character of Beowulf more stature and prestige. In The Song of Roland the situation is almost the complete opposite. In this work, Charles will be the one who ultimately triumphs over the evil, and therefore it is essential to build his stature up. Although Roland is regarded as a great warrior, Charles is seen as the Christian conqueror of the enemies of Christ. In Charles’ case, his old age is to his advantage, and his long white beard and hair are stressed by the author to help paint him as very old. The fight scene between Baligant and Charles further goes to shed light on the experience, leadership and general legend of the old King Charles. So who has the power in a father-son type relationship clearly

depends on the individual work itself. Whoever the main and essential character is of the particular work is going to be granted the superior power and prestige. The strong father-son relationship in Beowulf is a way of stressing how the people of the time felt. The comitatus of the Scandinavian kingdoms of the time Beowulf was written emphasized family and clan above all else, and by having the Hrothgar-Beowulf relationship act out in a certain way, you can get a great sense of what the comitatus system was like. The political and economic ideas of the time are also commented on through this relationship. The gift giving of Hrothgar and Beowulf in turn for deeds done shows what the essence of the comitatus was, how services were rewarded and great deeds applauded. The entire

relationship between Hrothgar and Beowulf is the prime example of the comitatus, and the author was clearly trying to stress that when writing Beowulf. The author of The Song of Roland also clearly had the idea also of commenting on the society of the time by using the father-son relationship as a model. Roland’s complete faith to his lord and King Charles gives the impression of how all loyal subjects should be to their lord. When deciding if they should trust the Saracens and talk with them Roland warns “Nevermore trust Marsile!” (The Song of Roland, sect. 14) Later on we see the paternal instincts and wisdom of Charles when Roland and other members of the twelve offers to speak to the Saracen Marsile. Roland states “That shall you not!” (The Song of Roland, sect. 18)

, showing how much he valued his closest warriors, almost like it was a family, again showing how the feudal system was a two way relationship. Roland’s willingness to face anything that his King wishes also goes to comment on the social characteristics of the day and what was expected from the code of chivalry. The final revenge theory is also something that is interesting to look at. Charles’ sadness and anger at the death of Roland sparks his energy, and makes him take the war up as a revenge for Roland and the others. The emphasis on revenging Roland is also representational of Medieval society, and how if a family member was killed it was expected that a fellow family member would revenge them. The father-son relationships portrayed here clearly help give an emphasis on