How does Beowulf demonstrate the importance of lineage

Subject: Literature

Topic: How does Beowulf demonstrate the importance of lineage?

Every piece of literature impacts and is impacted by the social conditions prevalent around the time period in which it was produced. Social forms of organization like communities, which place immense importance on lineage, especially patriarchal lineage can be found in Beowulf to a large extent. For example, an important character in the story, Grendal does not have a patriarchal lineage to fall back on. He is someone who is identified based on the lineage that he is bequeathed from his mother’s side of the family. This makes him a child whose antecedents are shaky and who, consequently, no one wants to trust. The protagonist, however, identifies his lineage very well. Beowulf is introduced by means of demonstrating his entire lineage; his father’s name appears often and his ancestry is of much importance to the progress of his plot of the story.

The very fact that the one who has claims to his patrilineal ancestry becomes the protagonist, and the one who does not have this becomes the antagonist demonstrates how important lineage is for that particular community.