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Short answer: yep, that's English.

Although it was written and recited in Britain, Beowulf is about characters in Scandinavia: Danish and Swedish warriors who battle fabulous monsters as well as each other. Why? Because the early Anglo-Saxons were the descendants of Germanic and Scandinavian tribes that invaded Britain beginning in the 5th Century. As a result, there was a lot of shared cultural background between the Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians, and the Anglo-Saxons looked back to their relatives across the sea when they wanted to tell stories about their own past.

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And that trend continues even now. Much like the Anglo-Saxons used Beowulf to look back at their forefather's history, people today use Beowulf to look back at Anglo-Saxon history.

But it wouldn't be a classic work of literature if it followed all the rules. And that's why, while being an epic, it also questions a lot of the epic values: Is the death price a good system of justice? What are its pitfalls? What makes a good king? A hero? A monster?

A list of all the characters in Beowulf

Blood is also commonly used as a symbol in the book. Shakespeare uses blood to symbolize the guilt in the people who do wrong. It is used to symbolize how they have stained their hands and could not possibly was their sins and stains off. This is seen when Macbeth and his Lady Macbeth embark from their journey of doom. The blood on their hands seems impossible to wash away. The blood here is also used to show the guilt that Macbeth and his lady experience throughout the play.

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Shakespeare uses the images of a dagger floating in the air covered in blood and pointing towards the king’s chamber to illustrate the path that Macbeth is about to follow. He uses three images, the hallucination, the knife and the blood to symbolize a warning that Macbeth is receiving. This happens when he is just about to kill Duncan as a warning. The hallucination is used again when Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo sitting in a chair during a feast. This is used to instill guilt and remind Macbeth that he had killed his friend. Lady Macbeth also hallucinates when she sees her hands stained in blood that was impossible to wash away. This happens when she is sleepwalking and it is used to instill guilt and remind them of their evil doings.

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The heroes also differ at some areas and aspects. The first and main difference is that all the men live in different times. Though their situations seem closely related all the men face different situations. Beowulf has a leadership position and he has the responsibility of taking care of his people. The Knight only has his experience in war and bravery to try to save the situation. Macbeth on the other hand is a greedy soldier who is seeking the top leadership position for his country.

Sandra Effinger -- MsEffie's LifeSavers for Teachers

Beowulf, the Knight and Macbeth are all heroes from their different ages of time. Beowulf encounters a monster, more specifically, a dragon that threatens the lives of his people. The Knight is a warrior who believes in the restoration of peace in his land and he utilizes his bravery, experience and skill to fulfill this worthy cause. Macbeth is also a soldier who does not believe in justice and takes it upon himself to make sure that he murders anyone in his way to success, hoping that he shall get the crown. The three men in the three times are all brave. However, they all do not share an upright character. They all utilize their different skills in their quests for justice and seeking right and others seeking power. The three men also take justice in their own hands. They feel that they owe it to the people around them and they are compelled by their consciences to act for either good or evil. The three men are not all loved by the people around them. Moreover, they do not all live upright lives; some like Macbeth have lives with lies and deceit.

Beowulf, part one (to line 1798) | ENG 301: Brit Lit to 1660

An Anglo-Saxon epic hero in the Anglo-Saxon book Beowulf is the main character Beowulf himself. A brave and vicious warrior he is and he claims victory for his hometown from a monster. From the Medieval times, comes the book ‘The Canterbury tales’ where the Knight represents the hero of the people. He is a Christian who fights very well. From the renaissance period comes yet another tragic hero known as Macbeth from the book Macbeth. He is a Scottish general and a thane of Glamis who is possessed by three wicked witches.