Gold And Gold In Beowulf Essay

696 Words3 Pages
In Anglo-Saxon culture, gold was one of the most valuable possessions a person could own. Gold and treasure was a sign of wealth, honor, respect and power. To the Anglo-Saxons, people lived their lives to become more honorable in the eyes of their peers. People valued others who had more treasure as it was a sign of their accomplishments.
The role of wealth, treasure and gold in this poem is important to the power and the honor of the individual. The gold represented the amount of respect and power the individual was presumed to possess. In the poem, King Hrothgar was the king of the Danes. Hrothgar was considered to be well respected and wise because he was wealthy and owned a kingdom. More treasure was also a sign of a great warrior and their accomplishments. For example, when Beowulf defeated Grendel he was given many riches, “Then Halfdane’s son presented Beowulf with a gold standard as a victory gift” (Beowulf lines 1019-1020) and as a sign of respect from King Hrothgar. When Beowulf defeated Grendel's mother he was
…show more content…
Men would risk their lives for treasure and honor. “Each man, who had sailed with Beowulf and risk the voyage received a bounty” (lines beowulf (1050-1052)). In other words, the men risked their lives on the voyage to receive gold and honor. The Anglo Saxon culture valued gold and treasure more than their own lives. At the end of the poem, while Beowulf was dying he requested that Wiglaf retrieve the gold he had just “won”. Wiglaf states, “I gathered them up, gold and silver, filled my arms as full as I could and quickly carried them back to my king” (Beowulf lines 3090). At the end of Beowulf's life he requests to see the gold he had won from killing the dragon.This shows how much treasure is worth to the Anglo Saxon culture. To these people, treasure and power were to die for. The Anglo Saxons would risk dying to get more treasure and to be deemed honorable by their
Open Document