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Different views on death

Loathe Death, Discourage Death or Fear Death. Does death represent an ending or a beginning? For some religions such as Buddhism, death represents both; when you die, you have finished your life and will start a new one. In Christianity, death represents a beginning of a blissful ascent to heaven where life is perfect. For atheists, death is the end; there is nothing more to it. In a literary sense, death is represented in many different ways depending on the period of time. During the Anglo-Saxon period, death was expressed as a heroic measure and those who could accept death and go into battle expecting their own demise were highly esteemed. The Renaissance and 17th century were quite divergent to the latter as they thought of death as something to be slighted and abhorrent. The 18th Century and the Romantics viewed death as something with great power that used its supremacy to instil fear into the human race. The following characteristics applied to each period will be further demonstrated in this essay with the use of illustrious literary works of their times. Beowulf was a brave knight who was revered upon by his people because of his many encounters of bravery. He fought many perilous monsters and beasts and risked his life so as to slaughter them and save countries. During his last battle as an elderly man, and King of the Geats, Beowulf went out to battle a fire dragon who had been terrorizing Geatland. Going into the battle, Beowulf knew that he would be fighting with “fate against him”(line 16, The Last Battle, Anon) meaning he would die. The later made him a true hero during this time because as a chivalric code, a hero must go into combat with the acceptance of death. Another example where death means bravery during the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval time is, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Sir Gawain rode his horse Gringolet to encounter a monster that he owed a favour to. The monster, the green kn...

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