Beowulf And Cultural Values

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In the Anglo-Saxon period, in which the epic poem Beowulf is set, the society’s values and cultural beliefs are reflected in each action and thought. The implication that you can infer from this poem is that the community deeply values characteristics such as bravery, honor, sense of duty and loyalty. Throughout the poem, full of valiant knights, honorable kings, and fierce feuds, we derive the definitions of an idealistic 6th-century society of Scandinavia. In the literary text known as Beowulf, we unlock many of the historical ideals regarding values and beliefs of the time frame and location.
Within the Scandinavian society, a clear key value would be bravery. As a member of such a culture, you had to be valiant and ready to embrace death.
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Beowulf himself demonstrates this in many ways, and so do others around him. Beowulf’s loyalty to his comrades and king is shown as he says to Hrothgar “If . . . I am sundered from life . . . extend your protection to the troop of my companions . . . convey also the gifts that you have granted to me . . . to my lord Hygelac” (98). This quote connotes the duty of the society, and is even more strongly conveyed when Wiglaf stays with Beowulf out of a sense duty and loyalty. When he is the only one who stays with Beowulf he utters “ . . . we bound ourselves to the gracious lord, who granted us arms . . . let us go to him, help our leader for as long as it requires” (134,135).
As one may tell, Beowulf is a literary text that promotes and reflects the values and beliefs of the Scandinavian society it is set in. Characteristics such as having honor, bravery, and a sense of duty and loyalty is brought out by the story and diction of the poem. The home of the Anglo-Saxons is unraveled in terms of the cultural ideals they had imposed through the actions and thoughts of literary characters. Beowulf is truly an epic poem and the society behind it, in which the parts of Beowulf are sprung upon, is even more
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