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Epic of Beowulf – The Conflicts of Beowulf

The Conflicts of Beowulf

George Clark in “The Hero and the Theme” make reference to an interior conflict within the Beowulf hero himself, and how the hero appears to lose this conflict:

Although a strong critical movement followed Klaeber in taking Beowulf as a Christian hero or even Christ figure, the most numerous and influential body of postwar critics, including Margaret Goldsmith (1960, 1962, 1970), read the poem as faulting the hero for moral filures according to one or another Christian standard of judgment (see also Bolton 1978). The poem became a neo-Aritotelian tragedy in which the hero’s flaw could be identified as a sin, greed, or pride (279).

The conflicts of Beowulf are both external and internal, and are quite numerous. Conflict is how one describes the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist in a literary work (Abrams 225). There is also another type of conflict which Clark describes above and which takes place within the mind and soul of a given character.

H. L. Rogers in “Beowulf’s Three Great Fights” expresses his opinion as a literary critic regarding conflicts in the poem:

The superhuman forces are Fate, the heathen gods, or the Christian God; conflicts between them and the hero’s character are frequently found. . . .The treatment in the three great fights of the motives of weapons, treasure and society implies a moral idea in which the poet believed: that a man should not trust in the things of this world, for they will fail him. Another aspect of this idea comes out clearly in the account of the first fight: that a man should trust rather in God and in the natural powers God gives him, for these will not fail him(234-37).


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…om The Harvard Classics, Volume 49. P.F. Collier

A Bronx Tale Cologero

A Bronx Tale Cologero

“A Bronx Tale” is a film directed by Robert Di Nero about a boy named Cologero (an Italian white male) and his life as he grows up in a town occupied by the mob. Colegero had two strong adult influences in his life. They were his father, Lorenzo, and a mob leader named Sonny. In the film there were a three scenes that especially demonstrated the influence Sonny and Lorenzo had on Cologero. An example of Lorenzo’s influence on his son takes place in front of their apartment in which Cologero is a witness to a crime Sonny committed. An example of Sonny’s influence on Cologero is when Sonny demeans Mickey Mantle in front of him. This then causes Cologero to have negative feelings about Mickey Mantle someone he has idolized his whole life. Another scene that shows Sonny’s influence on Cologero is when Cologero takes Sonny’s advice to go out with a black woman from his school, even though his father doesn’t agree with inter-racial relationships. This specific event perhaps shows that Sonny had more of an impact on Cologero than Lorenzo did. Early in Cologero’s childhood, around the age of ten years, he witnessed the shooting of a man over a parking space by Sonny (a powerful mob leader who Cologero admired).Cologero’s father, Lorenzo wanted nothing to do with Sonny or the mob. As a result, when the police detectives questioned Cologero about the murder, Lorenzo insisted his son knew nothing of it.This led Cologero to believe that his father didn’t want him to tell the truth. The detectives took Cologero outside to point out the murderer and Cologero denied that any of them were at the scene of the crime.Sonny then befriended Cologero and gave him the nickname “C”.This shows that Cologero’s father influenced him to lie to the police because Lorenzo led his son to believe he didn’t want him to tell the truth and Cologero did not.One day while Sonny was talking with “C”, who was still approaching adolescence, he said something that affected “C” and perhaps hurt his feelings in a major way. Sonny explained to Cologero that his baseball hero, Mickey Mantle, didn’t care about him or anyone else. Sonny told “C” that Mickey Mantle made over 200, 000 dollars a year and would never pay his rent or do anything for him.

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