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Word Count: 588
Beowulf and the Odyssey two popular old pieces of literature that are very closely related in some of their themes In the following paragraphs I am going to attempt to explore each of the books themes and then show where and how they link together Structurally Beowulf is divided into three main parts each one centering around Beowulfs confrontation with a certain monster first Grendel then Grendels mother then fifty years later the dragon Each monster functions symbolically as a force of evil against him which can be tested by the moral force of the heroic code of honor that continues throughout the epic represented by Beowulf the hero who most perfectly remains to that code The list of traits and behaviors that include the code of honor make up a large portion of the theme of Beowulf as situation after situation he is introduced to demonstrate proper and improper ways to behave Beowulf himself emphasizes the importance of reputation and fame as part of the heroic code continually boasting about his exploits and describing fame as a wall against death Another aspect of the code explored throughout the epic is the decency of revenge When an ally is killed it is more honorable to avenge his death than to mourn it This is shown by Beowulfs attack on Grendels mother following the murder of Aeschere The Odyssey depicts a magical mystical world in which Odysseus uses his sharp wits and bravery to overcome terrifying creatures and vengeful gods The Odyssey picks up the story of Odysseus some time after the end of the Iliad detailing his long and tiring ten-year journey home after the end of the Trojan War The main themes of the Odyssey deal with the values and customs that were key to uniting a geographically and socially-fragmented ancient Greek world hospitality to strangers loyalty to friends the maintenance of reputation and the balance between pride and honor
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