Research Paper: Sacrifice in Beowulf

Sample Research Paper

Sacrifice is an essential theme in literature because of its ability to invoke empathy and compassion in the audience. This element of sacrifice is an essential trait, found in heroes. The concept of sacrifice speaks of giving up a love for the sake of protecting or conserving those dear to the hero. Not only does it reveal their ability to give up their most treasured assets but also the degree to which they are willing to give themselves and their own happiness up for someone else. The true hero is one who is willing to sacrifice his own life in exchange for something that is much bigger than his own self. Beowulf is amongst those heroes willing to make the sacrifice of their own selves for the sake of others. The entire poem is constructed on three epic battles. The first battle is with Grendel which Beowulf is willing to fight. The King chooses Beowulf because of the debts his father owes to the Danes. Without questioning the reason or showing any signs of surrendering, Beowulf accepts the King’s request. This displays Beowulf’s unwavering faith in protecting and working for those he loved and respected. His heroic sacrifice is one which shows how he is willing to give up his own life for the sake of his family and community. The monster Grendel kills any Dane who enters the mead halls and Beowulf is ready to sacrifice his own life to save the hundreds of community members. This was coupled with the fact the Beowulf was not even a Dane himself.

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