In the epic Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel fate plays a major role in the
characters lives. Characters allow fate to influence them and how they go about
doing things. But is it really fate or peoples tendencies to do what they chose
too. ” Fate saves the living when they drive death away by
themselves.”(Pg. 9) Is fate what brought Beowulf to prevail over Grendal?
” The monster would have murdered again and again had not God, and the
hero’s courage, turned fate aside.”(Pg56) Beowulf was not supposed to win
but out of his own free will he prevailed and saves the Geats and many helpless
people. Although when Beowulf went against Grendal he relied on God for all the
help and he killed the monster as God had meant for him to do. Beowulf does not
allow fate to influence him. If fate is not on his side he makes it on his side.
Beowulf is an example of using both fate and free will to live out his life. He
looks toward and thanks fate for everything but yet if he doesn’t agree with
fate he looks toward his free will. If he wants something bad enough he will
prevail and get what he wants. ” Fate sent him to the Dragon and sent him
to death” (pg. 98) Everything that Beowulf gains is according to him by
fate. ” The gifts that higlac gave me, and the land, I earned with my
sword, as fate allowed” (pg100) He is ready to trust his life in fate. When
he faces Grendals mother he says, ” I’d use no sword, no weapon, if this
beast could be killed without it, crushed to death like Grendal, gripped in my
hands and torn limb from limb. But his breath will be burning hot; poison will
pour from his tongue. I feel no shame, with shield and sword and armor, against
this monster: when he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting
flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins.” (Pg101) Beowulf is not
afraid to die for his cause and is though to be a hero because of his courage.
He saved the city because he used his free will to kill the monster when he was
the one who was supposed to die. Beowulf died because of fate but it was his
free will that saved the city and the people. So Beowulf used both to prevail as
a warrior and a king who was loved and feared by his people.