9/26/2016 Title: Subtitle http://digitalcommons.imsa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=fall2010 While the Anglo-Saxon culture in “Beowulf” include display of strength, valor, honor and boastfulness of the early era is seen in today’s modern society.
Since it originated in oral tradition, the epic Beowulf has no known author. It does, however, serve as a representation of the Anglo-Saxon culture it originates from. As a work of art, it also serves its purpose of moral instruction, today serving as a demonstration of what values were important to the Anglo-Saxon people. Especially seen through the characters of
Beowulf and Wiglaf, the poem Beowulf illustrates three important morals of its time: …show more content…
Here, Wiglaf proves himself the better man because he has honor while the others, who willingly abandoned their King in battle, clearly do not. Lastly, Beowulf and Wiglaf both show outstanding loyalty throughout the piece. All of
Beowulf’s actions are clearly motivated by loyalty, starting with his decision to help the Danes.
Beowulf’s father once started a feud, which Hrothgar helped to end. Hrothgar recalls, “Ecgtheow acknowledged me with oaths of allegiance” (472). Beowulf traveled with his men to fight a fearsome monster not for the glory of it but so that he could help his father to repay his debt.
Many years later, Wiglaf shows his loyalty and devotion to his king Beowulf by following him into the fray when no one else did, promising, “I shall stand by you” (2668). In the end, this loyalty reveals Wiglaf’s valor, proving him to be just as heroic a character as Beowulf. The characters in Beowulf demonstrate three of the most important morals at the time of the story’s creation: bravery, honor, and loyalty. The character of Beowulf clearly
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The story tells of many characters who faced the same circumstances as Beowulf, yet failed to respond in a similar and valiant effort, like Beowulf. For example, when facing the dragon nearly all of his hand picked soldiers coward in fear. Beowulf then showed humility by turning down his first offer to be king. When Hrothgar died, he offered Beowulf the throne; however, he refused, which allowed the rightful heir, Hrothgar’s son to be placed into power. This decision exemplifies the value he placed on ethics and honor.
He has true honor and respectfully distributes treasure and gifts to those whom he believes rightfully deserves them. Beowulf’s loyalty to the Danes helps shed light on his true character. He expresses that he believes he may die in battle between Grendel, but that does not dissuade him from fighting the beast. Another example is when Hygelac dies, Beowulf is asked to take the throne. In doing so, that would mean the the son of Hygelac would be stripped of his own inheritance, which is dishonorable in Beowulf’s eyes, and thus he declines the offer.
Wiglaf is a prime example of the heroic code, and we can translate this code that is followed in the poem to present-day nobility and loyalty. Wiglaf was the only warrior brave enough to help Beowulf in his fight against the dragon. He stood by his side when no one else would. This unwavering loyalty is highly praised because supporting someone or something might not always be easy.
Beowulf's men were loyal to him, as they stayed and waited for him to surface from the water during the battle with Grendel's mother, even when the Hrothgar's men had given up during the battle with Grendel's mother. Furthermore, during Beowulf's battle with the dragon, only Wiglaf stayed, while the rest of his men were too scared to fight and ran away. Because of this, they were banished from their country, a fate that is considered worse than
Beowulf is a strong heroic hero who shows honor,selfless,courage. Beowulf is a strong heroic hero in a way because heroes are protectors and he protected his people of his town. So he is a hero in fact a strong one and a loyal one. There is lots of ways he shows loyalty one i can show is “I had a fixed purpose when i came to sea as i sat in the boat with my band of men I meant to perform to the uttermost what your people wanted or perish in attempt in the fields clutches i shall fulfill my purpose prove myself of proud deeds or meat my death her in the mead-hall”(pages 632-639).I chose this quote because it shows that beowulf would give his head for his people. I think that beowulf wanted to die for his king after all that is the reason
Loyalty, one of the main themes throughout Beowulf, is an important aspect of the Germanic culture. Loyalty in the Heroic Code is a bond between the king and his warriors; loyalty to the king is first above all, even family in this text. If the warriors lack the loyalty for their king, the urge to protect their king and tribe is diminished. Beowulf’s king, Hygelac, gave him permission to help the Danish king and his people. Beowulf exerts his loyalty to Hrothgar by protecting the king’s people, and killing Grendel.
The epic poem “Beowulf”, translated by Burton Raffel, focuses on a hero by the name of Beowulf who goes on a quest to rescue King Hrothgar and his people from an egregious monster by the name of Grendel. This Anglo-Saxon tale gives insight into the values and beliefs of the people from whom the story originated. Their war-centered ideology and views on loyalty and courage were the principles that the Anglo-Saxon culture was founded upon. While warfare was a focal point in their lifestyle, it was far from a savage, barbaric state of fighting. Honor and prestige were bestowed upon those who died during battle and selflessness for fellow warriors was a fundamental belief.
His loyalty shows when he tries to inspire his fellow warriors to help Beowulf. “I remember that time when mead was flowing, how we pledged our loyalty to our lord in the hall… now the day has come when this lord we serve needs sound men.” (Beowulf 764). Wiglaf’s willingness to give his life for another shines though when Beowulf attempts to kill a dragon but seems to be losing the fight. Wiglaf in an attempt to inspire his men exclaims “As God as my witness I would rather my body were robbed in the same burning blaze as my gold-giver’s body than go back home bearing arms.”
Years and years ago, many qualities could be found in warriors that are still prevalent today both in the present and past world. In “Mulan”, Fa Mulan from China is a very courageous woman. Defending her people and ,ultimately, saving her people despite the fact that she is a woman and could be killed if her secret were ever found out. Chris Mintz, a former 30 year old Army infantryman, threw himself into harms way, taking seven bullets, and surviving the encounter. Beowulf, from Scandinavia, held a great deal of pride without too much arrogance.
They had confidence and courage to win the battle in the name of Beowulf. The author’s perception of courage displays that good will always outperform evil. In conclusion, “Beowulf” illuminates characters and their dauntless actions. In the heroic tale “Beowulf,” the author’s tones strongly demonstrates themes of loyalty, honor, and courage.
Beowulf manifests the features of a literary epic by reflecting the Anglo-Saxon warrior culture from which it came from, and containing great, descriptive language and plots that include great battles and conflicts. The warrior culture is evident from the explanation of the story in Journeys where Beowulf, along with his group of warriors, sails to Denmark, ready to defeat Grendel to the very end of the excerpt where defeating Grendel brings Beowulf honor, pride, and glory. “He was happy with his / nightwork / and the courage he had shown” (826-828). Great battle and conflict, as well as descriptive detail, can be seen in this line from Beowulf and Grendel’s battle, “Every bone in his body [Grendel’s] / quailed and recoiled, but he could not
Cousin to Beowulf, he always kept in mind the good thing he’d given him such as armor, gold and the great estates the Wexstans now owned. A good man from the start with good morals. This shaped him to be the follower he was and now the leader he is. Wiglaf, as I just mentioned, is a good man. One of simple proud qualities.
The story Beowulf contains many different rulers that people follow. Among the various characteristics these men share, a few great qualities shine through, these being generosity, loyalty, and bravery. The leader Beowulf portrays these qualities multiple times throughout the story, which define him as a model of leadership for all times. One of the reasons is that Beowulf always acts decisively and courageously to combat evil, and he is also noble in his actions. He knows how to create peace as well as to wage war.
Beowulf, the oldest surviving epic poem, has been recognized as one of the most important works of Old English literature. It deals with battles, warrior culture, and redemption in a Germanic society. Many writers have analyzed the relationship between Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf, and how these were a depiction of an early medieval Scandinavian society. J. R. R. Tolkien, renowned author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, presented his view on the Pagan and Christian elements found in early medieval societies, as shown in the poem Beowulf. Tolkien explained that the poem shows “the nearness of a pagan time,” and with it “the shadow of its despair, as an intense emotion of regret” is conveyed throughout the poem (Tolkien).