UThe Anglo-Saxons were a tribe of people who lived in Great Britain during the 5th century. They were warriors who had traveled all the way from northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. The Anglo-Saxon people are very well known today despite not having been around for the several, several centuries. Their people led to the spread of Christianity through eastern Europe and the establishment of seven major kingdoms. They are also well known for the code of Honor, as the Anglo-Saxons had many values that their soldiers must live by. In Beowulf, an English epic poem that tells of the tell of the incredible warrior Beowulf, Anglo-Saxons values of the time period are displayed. Loyalty, bravery, and honesty are three of the most important values
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.
There have been epic stories about saints and fearless pioneers who bring down shrewdness and convey peace to the general population in which they reside, Beowulf follows this traditional concept. The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf is the most essential work of Old English writing. The epic recounts the account of a saint, a sovereign named Beowulf, who frees the Danes of the beast Grendel and recounts his brave demonstrations battling Grendel 's mom. All through the epic, the Anglo-Saxon story teller utilizes numerous components to construct profundity to the characters. Only a couple of the essential character components in Beowulf are Wealth and Honor, Biblical, and Man versus Wild topics.
Beowulf is an archetypal character within a legendary piece of text. He embodies the conglomerate of many Anglo Saxon values expressed throughout his heroic journey. Contrived by the mighty Northern Anglo Saxons, Beowulf is the manifestation of the Anglo Saxon ideals. This work of art helps us identify and analyze Beowulf’s ideals in a way that lets us deduce the values of the Anglo Saxon society. Examination of this poem lets us familiarize ourselves about a society obsessed with religion, vengeance and war-lust beings. They idolized the warrior code, an abundance of warrior like traits that portrayed you as noble as can be, a fundamental aspect of life for the Anglo Saxons. So let us leap into the fabric of time and take a peek into the Anglo Saxon civilization.
In the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, there is plenty of controversy over whether or not the poem was considered Christian or Pagan. It is understandable that there may be both themes seen throughout this particular work. Beowulf is referred to as a very outstanding piece of British literature during the eighteenth century. Although re-written in the eleventh century, Anglo-Saxon themes represented the ideals of Christianity in a more virtuous, and outright manner. Whereas, in Beowulf, the author makes use of many purposeful situations that lead readers to consider the intentions and major themes that they considered rare at the time.
Questions of Honor: Beowulf Beowulf’s honor and integrity can be questioned throughout the entirety of the epic poem, Beowulf. Whether or not his actions are inspired by his own pompous arrogance or confidence, one can argue that he is a hero nonetheless. Evidence and experience prove that Beowulf is more of a fearless hero than an excessively prideful man, and his hubris is more than justified due to the formidable duties he is able to execute. Throughout the poem, Beowulf expresses his intense strength and courage to the fearful people in the poem. His daring sense of self-assurance is backed by his victories against all three monsters, (even though he suffers a tragic death after facing the dragon, it is a defeat nonetheless).
Because they did not believe in an afterlife, the Anglo Saxons felt that immortality was achieved by fame and positive reputation, and that achieving fame was the most important task in one’s life. Beowulf clearly defines this idea in his speech to Hrothgar before attacking Grendel’s mother: “he who can earn it should fight for the glory of his name; fame after death is the noblest of goals.” The Anglo Saxons remembered their heroes’ fame through the telling of their epic tales and the passing down of their mementos. Beowulf embodies memento mori in nearly every aspect; the epic itself is a prime example of oral tradition. Within the story, there are several instances of scops recounting the stories of past heroes, such as the tale of Siegmund.
The epic poem Beowulf was a story told in the anglo saxon time period. A time when people believed in dragons, monsters, and curses. Many stories told by people of this time talked about the good and evil forces there are in the world and what happens when they collide in battle. The hero in this story has sailed from his home to fight this evil being named Grendel, a monster that has become a nuisance in Herot.
Beloved Beowulf…” Pg81, King Hrothgar to Beowulf These two quotes are essential to the story of Beowulf, as it describes Beowulf’s sincere character, his valor and loyalty to those he meets. The quotes above carry themselves throughout the story, as our protagonist proves again and again that his good nature, and incorruptible character is faithful to the end. Beowulf retained that personality, while still remaining a noble warrior in the battlefield, slaying hundreds upon hundreds of those who threaten his homeland. And when the dragon awoke from his slumber among riches, and terrorized people of Beowulf’s land with torrents of dragon fire, Beowulf took it upon himself to end the dragon where it stood, instead of having further
"Hear me! We've heard of Danish heroes, ancient kings and the glory they cut for themselves, swinging mighty swords." These verses were words sung over and over, by singing poets all over ancient Europe. They were sung in the presence of kings and warriors. They are the beginning lines of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, an ancient tale of monsters, dragons, kings, warriors, battles, life, death, and the virtues of a hero. The narrative follows the adventures of a young, brave warrior, as he conquers every challenge with his bare hands; seeking nothing but fame and glory until the very day he dies. Through this work of literature, the lost world of the Anglo-Saxons can be uncovered, and their past culture and concepts of heroism can be revealed.
Masculine Ideals in Anglo-Saxon Society The concept of a hero is prevalent through all generations because it presents a template for ethics and behavior. Beowulf is a pivotal epic told by poets throughout early european society and mirrors the manly nature of their ideal hero. The patriarchal values of the Anglo-Saxons are displayed through the epic Beowulf. The characters’ loyalty to their leaders as well as their conventional sense of masculinity indicate that the values of a society determine the values of an individual.
Literature has maintained a strong influence on society and its perceptions of heroes for centuries. In consequence, the time period in which a literary work is written reveals much about that society’s ideal. For example, the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, illustrates the deeds of a heroic knight and reflects the values of his community. Throughout the poem, Beowulf displays commendable behavior by saving another kingdom, defeating three villains, and maintaining allegiance to the lord and his people. Even though a millennium has passed since the release of this epic, heroes today display characteristics similar to those of Beowulf. Yusra Mardini, for instance, is a Syrian teenager who, while escaping her war-torn
Beowulf, the epic tale of a Danish society plagued by evil beasts, reveals many thought-provoking and admirable character traits of the main character and hero, Beowulf. Firstly, he shows chivalry through his interactions and actions towards the king of Heorot, showing him the respect and honor he deserved. Secondly, he demonstrates bravery in all battles above and beyond the standard of the times and the standard of his fellow fighters. He owes his bravery in part to his seemingly immeasurable strength, having more power in each fist than that of thirty men. Lastly, he demonstrates a trait that applies to people for his time and ours, pride.
“A protector of his people, pledged to uphold truth and justice and to respect tradition, is entitled to affirm that this man was born to distinction. Beowulf, my friend, your fame has gone far and wide, you are known everywhere. In all things you are even-tempered, prudent and resolute. So I stand firm by the promise of friendship we exchanged before. Forever you will be your people's mainstay and your own warriors’ helping hand” (Page 117 lines 1700-1708).