Beowulf is considered as one of the longest poems in literature with more than 3,000 lines. It is has no known author, but it was considered as the national epic of England. Beowulf is a man â€“ a hero who faced three major battles in the poem. These battles were not against other humans, but were against monstrous creatures (The Norton Anthology of English Literature). It is a poem that deals with legends, of hero and his men, and his great battles. It is composed mainly to entertain, a work of fiction with several relations to historical context. And with this, some speculations were raised, saying that Beowulf was something more that a poetic narrative of the hero, Beowulf. The epic poem was then related to a Christian context, saying that it was a Christian allegory. The poem takes place in the late 5th to 6th century, following the Anglo-Saxonâ€™s settlement in England, after making contact with Germanic tribes in Scandinavia and Germany. Beowulf may be based on real people and real events at that time in Scandinavia. The clans mentioned in the poem were clans which are found in the area, as well as some of the prominent personalities in the story. So basically, the epic poem is a work of fiction but was based on factual characters and events during that time. The time of Beowulf was a time of Paganism, but Beowulf himself addresses a higher being rather than man, wherein he presents himself to the Father Almighty. According to Helterman, â€œAs the view of the intellectual setting has shifted from a pagan to a Christian context, this â€˜something moreâ€™ has been seen as a Christian allegory or didacticismâ€¦yet the tone of the poem and the lack of specific Christian allusions cause difficulties for such an approach (Helterman). The poem didnâ€™t mention anything regarding Christianity, and Beowulf was a pagan. But there were several â€œChristian sentiments of a general sortâ€ which were attributed to the hero. Because of the Christian-like characterization of the hero Beowulf, there were several speculations saying that the author was a Christian in England who wrote about Scandinavian history, which then became the epic poem Beowulf. But some said that the Christian attribution in the heroâ€™s character could mean that he was an archetype, the generic, idealized model of a person (Chickering). And at that time, Christianity was a budding religion, wherein Beowulfâ€™s character could have been patterned into that of an ideal Christian. Beowulf as the hero of the epic was made the way he is, the ideal person. But then again, every hero has its counterparts. And just like Beowulf, his counterpart can be seen in a Christian context. The epic poem Beowulf is divided into three major battles. The first one is his battle with the monstrous creature called Grendel, which was the reason why he went to Hrotgar. Just like Beowulf, Grendel also has a Christian context. He is to be the descendant of Cain, the son of Adam and Eve which was banished for killing his own brother. Because of this, Grendel is given an antagonistic comparison with Cain, who was the first person to commit murder in the Christian bible. Grendel, along with his mother, was compared to as the kinsmen of Cain, whereas Beowulf was the pagan hero considered as the archetype of a human being. Beowulf and Grendel were great opposites, as manifestation of the forces of good battling with the forces of evil, or in the context of religion and Christianity, will be righting the wrong. Beowulfâ€™s character is the manifestation of Christianityâ€™s good; wherein his defense of Heorot was an act to â€œorder the chaotic universe,â€ where Grendel and his mother on the other hand, were the forces that bring chaos, falling into pattern of disorder (Batchelor). This is manifested by their physical appearance wherein they do not resemble or have any human characteristics. They were monstrous in size and strength. They can kill people with the swipe of their hands, and they even eat people, as to what Grendel did to Hrotgarâ€™s men. Another possible association with religion and Christianity was during the creation of Heorot, the great hall which was built for the people of King Hrotgar (Helterman). The creation of the hall was because of the word of the king. It is the same as that of the Christianâ€™s Genesis, wherein with the word of God, there was light. And it was with that word that He was able to create day and night, and everything that he wished and commanded. Just as with Hrotgarâ€™s word, Heorot was created, all for the sake of the people, since in this hall they dined, ate and sang, until the time that Grendel came into the story. When Grendel came, it was like introducing chaos into order so that you could cleanse it, just like the cleansing of the sins of the people, just like the Great flood, where chaos or the flood was added in order to cleanse the world of the sinners. When Grendel came into Heorot, chaos caused destruction, thus it would require reconstruction, where after reconstruction was the cleansed state. Grendel, even though he caused a great deal of devastation to the people, has served a purpose, which was to strengthen the then destroyed Heorot. His chaos has led to a good outcome in the story. It could also be viewed on another angle, where the battle between Beowulf and Grendel was actually the same as to that of the myth of creation, where light and darkness mixed and â€œfoughtâ€ in order to create the earth and everything in it. Another instance that relates the epic poem Beowulf to Christianity was during the battle against the mother of Grendel. Beowulf was definite on the losing end at that moment, since his sword, Hrunting, lost its powers and cannot harm the creature he is up against with. In his desperation, he was able to locate a sword in the Grendelâ€™s lair, which only he could be able to use. It was a heavy sword of the giant, which he used to behead the mother of Grendel and eventually prolong his life. Even though he was able to slay the monster and keep his life, he gives the credit of his victory to the â€œhigher being,â€ the â€œWielder of Men. â€ It was an indirect association to God in Christianity, since he recognizes His powers and that his victory wasnâ€™t possible without him. Beowulf being a pagan is just a characteristic, since there was no evidence of him knowing about Christianity (Batchelor). But the fact that he addresses to a higher being is a manifestation of being Christian even in his beliefs. The epic poem Beowulf is truly a literary piece that was made to entertain, with the life of Beowulf as a hero, his adventures, his battles, and even his death, makes it a wonderful read. But there are other underlying concerns that could come about while reading the epic. It is undeniable that there are other meanings in what was written, rather than just to entertain. The poem Beowulf is associated with religion, especially Christianity. The main characterâ€™s recognition of a higher being is but one of many manifestations of this underlying messages.
Urban air pollution and the automobile - Research Paper Example
The atmosphere of the earth is a thin cover composed of different gases and water vapors and is a great blessing for mankind as it surrounds the whole earth and sustains the human life on this planet. The vertical thickness and density of the atmosphere depends upon different ecosystems. The atmosphere along with its different ecosystems plays a significant role to maintain the overall planetâ€™s temperature and in provision of coal, oil, food crops, and drinking water to human society. Man has exploited endlessly the available resources and has always assumed that they are inexhaustible. Today human has realized that he has been constantly disturbing the ecological balance and fast finishing the life-supporting systems on the earth. Urban pollution is caused by many factors like industrial and thermal power plants, but more importantly by vehicular emissions. As a result, the outdoor air quality in urban areas has deteriorated significantly. Statistics reveals that in last 30 to 40 years, the concentrations of suspended particulate matter in huge cities like Mexico, New York, Tokyo, Mumbai, Karachi, Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok, and New Delhi etc were four to five times higher than levels recommended by world health organization (Brown, 1999). A substantial increase in the number of vehicles on urban roads continues to drive up levels of urban air pollution. Common gases emitted by vehicles include carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and ozone. These all gases are dangerous to human health beyond certain levels of concentration. Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons released by diesel-powered vehicles are known carcinogens, while smoke from diesel engines has aggravated already elevated levels of airborne soot. Nitrous oxides are emerging air pollutants with the highest concentrations recorded in metropolitans. Thesis Statement. People have right to use car, but there are many solution to save our environment; such as, public transportation and government should make rules to use car. The following paragraphs will deal this statement by describing the beneficiary management and role of public transportation, fuel used by different types of cars, and the corrective preventive measures to control the urban pollution produced by automobiles. II. Public Transportation As compared to 100 years ago, no doubt today human being is enjoying much better mode of travelling throughout the world like presently cars, buses, trams, trains, and subways are facilitating millions of human being daily. According to World Resource Institute (2008), all these transportations contribute to almost 25% of the overall global energy consumption while cars are responsible for about 80%. Since automobiles are major cause of emission of greenhouse gases in atmosphere (Fenger et al, 1999), therefore in respect of urban pollution, the use of public transport is very beneficial because per head it produces less greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere than cars. Secondly, the use of public transportation is cost effective both at individual and national level. Although the use of public transportation is less glamorous, however, it keeps the individual free of searching the parking, fuel, and maintenance of personal vehicle. An integrated and well-planned network of public transportation have shown much better results in reduction of greenhouses gases and other pollutant material into air. For example in United States, there were almost 1.6 cars for every two Americans in 2005 while at the same time 160 Americans were entertained by a single trolleybus. By the advent of trams in Europe, great results have been observed. Trams and trains carry millions of people inside the city on regular basis and thus prevent the society from further automobile pollution which could have been occurred by the use of their passengers. III. Fuel of Vehicles Numbers of fuel options are available now days for the owners to use in their vehicles. However,
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