Someone mentioned Beowulf the other day. Like many contemporary windbags I felt I had the authority to comment on it, but I quickly realized I could not recall a single element of the story. I “read” Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf in university, and my Irish dad had always proudly raved that it took an Irishman to translate the most important piece of Old English literature in history, but I was ashamed to admit I couldn’t remember a thing about it.
However, for some reason I knew the ins and outs of how extraordinarily sexist it was, thanks to my feminist university indoctrination. Grendel’s mother was a woman, women are in the background of the narrative, blah blah, patriarchy. It is only years later, after taking the red pill, that I am waking up to the fact that this book was treated with outright disdain by the cultural Marxists running the show in academia. I resolved to take a step towards undoing this social programming and revisit it. I was not disappointed.
Cultural Marxists have declared war on literature and tradition
I was assigned the task of reading Beowulf for an English elective I took in third year at a Canadian university. It was, unsurprisingly, taught by an elderly feminist who openly hated it. She was hell-bent on using Beowulf to prove its author and all white males are evil and biased. This class was basically a crude open-air dissection of great works of English literature. Want to know how it ends? You find out men are bad.
No matter how hard I tried I could not find this discussion engaging, so I tuned out. I blamed myself for being a lazy unmotivated idiot (unlike all the women in the class, who seemed to be doing so well) but now I’m not so sure. After taking the red pill, I am waking up to the fact that I was only allowed to be walked through these great works of literature with feminist intermediaries holding my hand, shielding me from the contagious bigotry.
We weren’t even really encouraged or required to read the original literature for the class. The actual works themselves were much less important than the mandatory articles about the male gaze and castration theory. Come essay time, as long as we could mine a random quote and inject it into a new draft of the same basic essay we all wrote over and over for every course we took, with the thesis that had the words “white”, “male”, and “hegemony” in it, we were guaranteed a decent mark.
In short, the many criticisms of Beowulf amount to the incredibly evil and biased fact that that the hero is a white jarl (the Norse high caste) and therefore extremely biased and not to be taken seriously. Because of this, rather than analyze the work in its own right as a rare and valuable glimpse into an otherwise dark and cloudy past, we were encouraged to deconstruct it, asking “but what does this say about women?” at every opportunity. When it came time to write the final exam can you guess what all the questions were about? Gendered analysis of Beowulf. Any other analysis was not an option.
Beowulf is a classic for a reason
Recently, I did in fact read Beowulf, and I am happy to report it is nothing short of transformative. Read a little bit every night before bed and it will transform your consciousness. It is not the self-congratulatory drivel they made it out to be in feminist academic hugboxes. It is an ode to the very notion of manhood, honour, legacy, heroism, and the tragedy of male disposability.
To the SJWs who say that Beowulf is literary masturbation of upper class males I say this: Beowulf’s high status is directly related to his willingness to sacrifice himself for the good of his society. His sacrifice is the only thing standing between existence and complete obliteration for his kinfolk.
Beowulf has real social value. In a world that is plagued by dragons and marauding beasts, anyone willing to face them who is not you is your new best friend. The dragon or the serpent is not a fantasy—it is an apt metaphor for the real, deadly challenges that faced old Norse society. And the skald (bard) makes it clear Beowulf was seen by his kin as nothing short of a divine gift from God for his feats. So-called “Big Men” like him had real value, not imagined value. This is not some invention of the male ego. The warrior archetype is real and in demand, even today, and it is this fact that is so empowering to contemporary men, and the one that feminists can not stand to acknowledge.
In short, Beowulf deserved his high station. He was not some sociopath who relished pointless killing, but rather appeared to be a very thoughtful and even humble character who took the notion of honour insanely seriously, and was willing to lay down his life without hesitation for his kin. The truth is we all owe our existence to men like him, and a functional society recognizes this fact. That is why these men get sagas written about them, while the names of the men women who waited out the conflicts in palisaded hillforts, minding the children, are lost to history. It’s a tradeoff that needs to exist, or there is no incentive for men to step up and put it all on the line.
The debt of gratitude to the dragon slayer
There is a reason the male warrior is such a compelling archetype. We will always find him engaging, no matter how much SJWs try to destroy and mock him in today’s lecture halls and tumblr pages. Human beings love male machismo and bravado. No matter what we may claim to believe, when we see that video of that Kurdish boxer beating up five punks in a streetfight, we are filled with primal satisfaction. We are wired this way, and for good reason: it saved our lives. You can declare war on patriarchy, warrior ethos, even the notion of maleness itself, but the sacrifices and legacy of the past will always be a part of you.
If you are a man, especially but not exclusively one with Northern European heritage, you need to check out this piece of literature. Read it slowly. This tale of the Anglo Saxon skalds is an echo of red pill truth from an ancient time, a timeless testament to the debt of gratitude we all owe to the dragon slayers. The language is rich and beautiful, and there is something almost mystical about the interwoven motifs of fire, serpents, metal, blood, and honour.
I will leave you with Seamus Heaney’s reading of his own translation and a little bit of verse. Enjoy—and tonight, I hope you’ll all join me in raising a horn of mead to the Beowulfs.
Then he addressed each dear companion
one final time, those fighters in their helmets,
resolute and high-born: “I would rather not
use a weapon if I knew another way
to grapple with the dragon and make good my boast
as I did against Grendel in days gone by.
But I shall be meeting molten venom
in the fire he breathes, so I go forth
in mail-shirt and shield. I won’t shift a foot
when I meet the cave-guard: what occurs on the wall
between the two of us will turn out as fate,
overseer of men, decides. I am resolved.
I scorn further words against this sky-borne foe.
“Men at arms, remain here on the barrow,
safe in your armour, to see which one of us
is better in the end at bearing wounds
in a deadly fray. This fight is not yours,
nor is it up to any man except me
to measure his strength against the monster
or to prove his worth. I shall win the gold
by my courage, or else mortal combat,
doom of battle, will bear your lord away.”
Then he drew himself up beside his shield.
The fabled warrior in his warshirt and helmet
trusted in his own strength entirely
and went under the crag. No coward path.