Similarly, the ideal characteristics of Anglo-Saxon society are present throughout the epic of Beowulf. Beowulf himself demonstrates how the Anglo-Saxons found traits like strength, courage, faith, and gratitude to be so important (“Character Analysis” 9). Be that as it may, epics tend to also give insight into various aspects of different structures present throughout these societies as well. In Beowulf, the idea that people followed and served a leader who protected them in return, a key concept present throughout Anglo-Saxon society, is seen when Beowulf defends Herot and is named “The mighty protector of men...” (Beers 23). Another example of societal structures or beliefs being present in epics was seen by the importance of kleos, a Greek term used in reference to glory or renown, in the Iliad.
The poets and oral history were valued because they immortalized the greatest warriors and the Anglo-Saxons strived to be immortalized. Through this major societal push to be remembered and hold a legacy, the Anglo-Saxons valued warriors for the loyalty, strength, and courage they pursued. These values are important to Anglo-Saxon culture and to its literature. Beowulf, both the epic and the character, represents these values of loyalty, strength, and courage time and time as seen by the melded perspective of Anglo-Saxons and the Christian scribes in this piece of literature. Loyalty to the King and the warriors is seen as a sign of immortalizing character throughout the Anglo-Saxon history.
First, we must recognize the qualities of a hero. Specifically, a Germanic hero. A hero will always follow a heroic code. Following the heroic code would mean being loyal, generous, and valuing vengeance. We see these characteristics in Beowulf and his actions throughout the poem.
Loyalty: The Pillar of Camelot The medieval tales of Arthurian times stress profound values of the fifteenth - century kingdom of Camelot. At a time when faithfulness and nobility guide daily life, the legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the knights help uphold the virtue of loyalty. In Morte D’Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory uses his first - hand experiences to retell the legend of these Arthurian figures with the ultimate goal of emphasizing the need for devotion in medieval England. John Boorman’s film adaptation, Excalibur, brings to life these characters helping to promote adherence of trust in a kingdom that places vital importance on the code of chivalry. In the medieval epic, Morte D’Arthur, and the film, Excalibur, the concept of loyalty is paramount in the development of relationships that King Arthur has with Lancelot, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.
After reading and analyzing both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I received multiple perspectives of a “hero” and what that word meant during these time periods. Therefore, in both stories, it was evident that in order to be considered a hero during this time one had to be selfless and loyal to the king/crown by sacrificing oneself to maintain the tranquility within their kingdom. Nonetheless, in terms of Beowulf, I considered both the protagonist, Beowulf, and one of his warriors, Wiglaf, to be heroic individuals who portrayed all the necessary characteristics one must acquire to be considered a hero during this century. This was because Beowulf numerously sacrificed himself to protect King Hrothgar’s kingdom, when he battled
This aspect of loyalty is what I expressed in my piece of art. Loyalty is one of the strongest themes in Beowulf, and why it is important to express through art. Loyalty is shown from the beginning when Beowulf requests to the assist the Danes from King Hygelac. He undertakes this task because Beowulf’s father was protected by Hrothgar in battle.This shapes the foundation of Beowulf’s loyalty toward him. To express this loyalty, I had many ideas such as
When he arrives in Denmark Wulfgar greets him by saying “My lord, the great king of the Danes, commands me to tell you that he knows of your noble birth and that having come bravely and are welcome.” (Beowulf 126). Another example of his chivalrous tendencies is willingness to give his life for another. Beowulf has
Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic about a great warrior who values the Anglo-Saxon ideas of loyalty, personal indebtedness, fame, fate, and heroism. The epic is named after, and centered on, Beowulf and his quests; however, several other characters also reflect Anglo-Saxon values throughout the story. For example, King Hrothgar built “the best/ Of all mead-halls” (ll.145-146) so that his “men lived happy” (l. 15). Hrothgar built the mead-hall because he was indebted to his men who served and protected him. Meanwhile, Beowulf was indebted to Hrothgar because Hrothgar once defended Beowulf’s family.
The regulations assigned the ethics and morals that a knight had to attain, and the rules were held with great respect and honor. The Arthurian Code of Chivalry is composed of four major aspects: nobility, humility, bravery, and obedience. Throughout the tales of King Arthur, it is evident that in order to be a knight you must display nobelity. Arthur said “I
The majority of Gawain’s noble qualities are due to his code of honor and we will discuss these qualities. Whereas, with Beowulf we will discuss what his noble characteristics