Loyalty, Mortality, and Prosperity
Themes That Span the Ages
One thing I feel I did well in this project was keeping my voice throughout the varied pieces I wrote. A ballad is quite different from an obituary, however, I aimed to stay true to my style and diction. My goal is to continuously refine my style, but maintain consistency in my writing. This was good practice.
However, it was very hard to tie in the theme to the piece being written. There is a balance between not being too obvious in stating your theme, but stating it clearly enough to be understood. I found that balance hard to strike. As a result, I have added respect for the way themes were effortlessly included in Beowulf and Canterbury Tales.
In the future, I hope to expand my reading to older literature, since I especially enjoyed reading Beowulf. Also, I will be on the lookout for lessons and themes in the books I read, as well as ways to incorporate themes in what I write. A good book always has some bit of wisdom to pass on to it's reader; hopefully I am now better equipped to find it.
Piece #1 Description
Piece #1- The Mark of a Hero True
Listen and I will tell the tale
Of wretched monsters
Risen from the depths of hell
And the warrior brave enough to face them
Beowulf, son of Edgetho,
Heard stories of an unconquerable monster
And fearlessly trekked where no man dare go
To the battle hall the heathen plagued
To the Danes, their once distinguished king,
Fallen from glory at the hands of this beast
Accepted the help good Beowulf bring
The kindness given unasked
That night, when the monster stormed the hall
He found an unwelcome surprise
By Beowulf’s hands he did fall
And the curse of the Danes was lifted
Yet the battle was not done
This monster’s mother did retaliate
But Beowulf would not rest till he had won
So he traveled to where the she-beast lurked
It was a long and arduous fight
But by God’s good grace
And Beowulf’s might
He cut off the monster’s head
And so marks a hero true
That no matter the cost
What he promises, he follows through
The loyal and mighty Beowulf
Piece #2 Description
Piece #2- Obituary of Beowulf
Beowulf, son of Edgtho, age 80, died on August 3rd, 580 AD. Services will be held on August 13th, at the monument being built in his honor. Beowulf died of blood loss resulting from wounds received in battle. Before his death, he successfully slayed the dragon inhabiting the tower under the rocky cliffs. The Geats mourn the loss of their brave leader.
Beowulf will be remembered for his many feats of strength. In his youth, he slayed many a monster. Among his more well-known accomplishments was the defeat of Grendel, the monster that tormented the battle hall of Hrothgar for twelve years. As the story is told, when weapons would do no harm, he tore the monster’s arm off with his bare hands. Beowulf did not stop there, however. When the monster’s mother attacked Hrothgar in retaliation, Beowulf tracked the she beast down and sliced her in two.Aside from being a strong warrior, Beowulf will also be remembered as a good and loyal leader. For thirty years he humbly served Higlac, winning honor and wealth. Then, for fifty peaceful years he ruled Geatland, bringing even more honor and wealth to our people. His men can attest he was kind and faithful, his loyalty to them never faltering. His death is a grave reminder even the strongest of warriors will not win the battle against his own mortality. Yet, he left behind a legacy that will span the ages.
Piece #3 Description
Piece #3- Death's Diary
Today was a busy day. Early this morning I caught rumor of a vow made in a pig sty of a tavern by three drunken rioters. They had learned of the end of an old friend- saw his coffin passing by and heard he had crossed paths with me. It seems my reputation proceeds me, as several of the locals warned to steering clear of the thief they call Death. Behaving as foolish drunks will, the group would not heed the advice, but vowed to track me down and avenge their comrade. I generally make it a policy to only conduct business by appointment, but never let it be said I am not approachable. My schedule was clear this morning, so I met them on the path to St. Mary’s. What an unpleasant meeting! I disguised myself as an old man, told them the heart wrenching-tale of how even my own mother’s soul ignored my pleas to be laid to rest. It was a pretty stirring account, but not a shred of sympathy was shown. They even went as far as to threaten me- an old crippled man. They insisted on their meeting with Death, so I sent them to find it. I told them death was nearby in a graveyard- and it was. They so happened to stumble upon a treasure and lo and behold! their greed led to their own undoing. Each plotted against the other to take his share of gold. By the end of the day they had each fallen by the others' hands. What strange creatures humans are, with their love of gold. The rioters died in vain- what good will their gold do them now?