German Heroic Code In Beowulf

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Within this essay I will be analysing the literary representations of warrior culture and the Germanic heroic code within Anglo-Saxon poetry. I will argue that a strong comitatus is necessity to the success of the Germanic heroic code and what happens when the comitatus begins to fail. I will be using the literary texts Beowulf and The battle of Maldon to state my arguments which I will then reinforce using critics such as, Robert D. Fulk, Christopher M. Cain and H. Munro Chadwich. I will first begin my argument with a definition of the Germanic heroic code, go on to talk about the general Anglo-Saxon literature where I will then use the examples Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon to display where the Germanic heroic code tropes are present.…show more content…
Within the comitatus there are important tropes which are vital to the success of the comitatus; these include boasting following a win in battle and the boasting about weapons which would have been gifted from the King or high Lords. Courage and fortitude as each individual member has to possess these traits for the whole unit to be as strong as they can be. Also the importance of upholding a reputation is a vital part of the comitatus as it reminds the current men in the comitatus of those who had been before them and the accomplishments that can be achieved through a strong comitatus. In addition, the importance of upholding the reputation of the comitatus also acts as a signifier to other men who they may engage in battle with, as a warning in order to avoid battle with them, thus saving lives. Within the comitatus there is a central focus, this is called the mead hall. In the mead hall the “heroic bond between lord and retainer is confirmed and celebrated” and It is there that the king rewards his men for their “valor with drink and precious gifts, often in the form of weapons, and the deeds of great forebears are recounted” (Christopher and Fulk, 2013, p.281). In the Mead hall the men sleep, eat and bond together. It is the heart of the
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