RAMA OR BEOWULF?

RAMA OR BEOWULF?

Comparative saga readings might lead to various results because sagas are not just fairy tales or stories of bravery. Saga is a category that is unique and has disparate characteristics than the stories and fairy tales do.

Ramayana is an Indian (East) and Beowulf is a Scandinavian (West) saga. When we look at them both, we see the point of views and the life purposes of the people. A hero is the solid figure of the religion, laws, manners, and traditions of a society. Rama and Beowulf stage the same kind of heroism; they both fight with the dragons. In other words, the monsters that no one would ever want to challenge. At this point, nothing is subject to discrimination. However, the question of ‘why do the heroes fight with the monsters?’ mirrors the society that the hero represents. Beowulf is in a search of fame, glory and wealth. Rama’s problem is to show loyalty to his father, affection to his subjects, and commitment to his beliefs. Nevertheless, they both end up getting embraced by glory, fame and wealth but their ways are different. What we call ‘way’ is the understanding of religion, manners, law, and life.

We can summarize from where the Continental Europe arrived to materialism through Beowulf. We can read the changes that Brahmanism had through Rama. The both sagas have ‘Gods.’ However, in Beowulf the gods are in the background and no one takes them seriously, their power is less. In Ramayana, the gods mean everything. Rama is the servant of the Brahmans, in other words priests’ before anything else. He often retires into seclusion, prays, offers sacrifices to the gods, dresses as a saint.

The god is only in Beowulf’s words. He doesn’t have any concerns of serving the god. His thoughts are always full of politics between the governments. He takes action to become powerful in a way. And now, this is interesting, he has a passion for worldly staff. Nazmi Ağıl, the translator of Beowulf, explains this as the last person who had edited the saga being a Christian. Otherwise, Beowulf and his subjects are pagans. The immortality in Paganism is the fame, wealth, and glory that are left behind. The Christianity seems like vested in Beowulf later. The author of Ramayana is a priest named Valmiki. There is not any factor, which was tried to be vested in him later. There is no inconsistency between the acts and the words of the hero and the argument of the saga.

Rama is the king and the hero of a religious government. For this reason, Ramayana can be read as a decent book of religion. Beowulf talks about the complicated beliefs and societies of the Continental Europe. This is why it is disordered. It carries within, the reasons of why Europe couldn’t put together itself since the 7th century. Both of the sagas haven’t lost their dynamism and effectiveness because they present possibilities to be read in different aspects.