The History of Sigemund and Narrative of Beowulf

“The History of Sigemund” is closely related to the narrative of Beowulf.  Both are set in two different times and scenarios, but have numerous similarities and differences that help readers understand the other stories. The tale of Sigemund is considered to be a digression from the main Beowulf narrative. This story was narrated by a thane who also doubled as a professional singer and had a wealth of knowledge in the history of the people. The thane was able to entwine the story of Beowulf with the information that he had about Sigemund, to produce a timeless masterpiece. The two stories are based on revered heroes, and Sigemund’s story is a digression used to draw parallels between the two actors. Sigemund’s story plays an influential role in helping readers understand Beowulf’s narrative since they are both considered heroes and go through the same challenges in their quest to vanquish their enemies.

Sigemund and Beowulf are both considered courageous men in their society because of their achievements. Sigemund was the first to triumph over a dragon, which is deemed a heroic act (Cooley 48). For Sigemund to secure the treasure, he was forced to slay the dragon. The treasure that Sigemund acquired from the dragon after his triumph is synonymous with the gold that Beowulf received from King Hrothgar as a reward. After Beowulf’s victory, a celebration follows featuring singing and reciting stories about kings of past generations. During the celebrations, a Danish poet can narrate the story of Sigemund because it is similar to Beowulf’s victory. The story of Sigemund highlights how the people have capable heroes and how Beowulf has managed to achieve what Sigemund was also able to do during his time (Klaeber 463). The purpose of reciting the Norse myth during Beowulf’s celebration is to compare the heroic acts of these two heroes. Moreover, from the comparison, it is unmistakable that Beowulf’s life is a reflection of that of his predecessor. The significance of this correlation is that the locals now use the opportunity to glorify Beowulf and show their appreciation using mythology.

The history of Sigemund is essential in understanding how the community reacts to triumphs over dragons and people they consider enemies in society. Sigemund and Beowulf underwent similar struggles for them to be regarded as heroes in their society. When Beowulf defeated the dragon, he is considered a community hero and joins the category of leaders such as Sigemund (Griffith 21). Therefore, society is indebted to him; showering him with praises and treating him in the same manner they did to Sigemund. Through songs and poetry, Beowulf is compared to Sigemund because of his achievements in society.

Both Sigemund and Beowulf’s fame grows in the community because of their courage. They won treasures and killed dragons that were considered as enemies by the people (Gwara 60). However, the sequence of events between the two was different, but they all achieved the same objective. Therefore, Beowulf is believed follow in Sigemund footsteps. The history of Sigemund categorically informs the people of the importance of conquering the dragon and finding the treasure. Subsequently, the story sheds light on the issues that motivated Beowulf to be more courageous, finding the treasure and later killing the dragon. Beowulf knew that achieving the two would bring him honor in the community and increase his popularity across the nation (Heaney 21). Sigemund’s courageous story can be used to detail and highlight to readers the importance of killing the dragon and gaining the treasure in society. Moreover, the two stories indicate that to be a hero in Sigemund’s and Beowulf community, one had to be courageous. Through courage, Sigemund dared to go to war alone without involving Fitela (Cooley 56). Additionally, Beowulf followed in Sigemund’s footsteps and was able to fight Grendel’s mother alone. Hence, the Sigemund’s story highlights the importance of courage in the community for it assists in getting fame and public admiration. Thus the readers can learn to understand the reason why Beowulf had to be courageous in his dealings in the community. Beowulf could only gain respect from his people if he was brave, a foremost reason that led him to kill the dragon even though he had already acquired the treasure. The teaching expounds more on Beowulf’s story by teaching the readers the importance of facing life’s most difficult situations independently (Gwara 61). Beowulf follows in Sigemund’s footsteps and works alone to conquer his enemies. This gesture shows the importance of hard work in society and being rewarded for glory.

The digression by Sigemund-Heremod predicts Beowulf’s destiny as it describes the two paths that the latter represents. The poet believes that Beowulf can take Sigemund’s path which involves going into war alone and emerging victorious. The other option was to follow Heremod’s path that entailed leading to tyranny and national annihilation. Notably, Sigemund’s behavior is distinguished by achievements like Beowulf’s encounter with men and monsters (Heaney 32). The two succeed in killing the dragon and attain public glory for their courageous acts in the community. The history of Sigemund dramatically influences the life of Beowulf because the latter had the opportunity to follow on Heremond’s footsteps but decided to be like Sigemund and focus on showing his courageous attributes by conquering the monsters and going to battle alone. Therefore, Sigemund acts as Beowulf’s mentor and role model for he derives his motivation from his contemporary’s accomplishments in society. Though their quest for glory is different in some situations, Beowulf can achieve everything that Sigemund was able to accomplish during his lifetime (Klaeber 465). Subsequently, Sigemund’s story is important and explains Beowulf’s life because he derived his inspiration from the former. So, most of their accomplishments in society are similar. The history of Sigemund plays a vital role in motivating Beowulf to accomplish different feats in society. Moreover, the lives of these two leaders are similar because they both claim the highly coveted treasure and defeat the dragon. The poets consider them to be great people in society owing to their achievements and in managing to liberate their community through solo efforts. According to the poet who chants songs and recites poems after Beowulf kills the dragon and considered a hero in his community, Beowulf had the option of following in Heremond’s footsteps. However, Beowulf decided to adhere to and follow Sigemund’s achievements. This is the main reason why Sigemund’s history unequivocally explains the life and accomplishments of Beowulf.

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