Loyalty And Honor In The Epic Of Beowulf

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"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.…show more content…
These values contribute toward Beowulf's Fame and determine his decisions and actions. Sometime after Beowulf returns victorious from Denmark, his king and father figure dies in battle. The Queen, afraid her own son was not capable of protecting them from their enemies, offers the crown to Beowulf. Beowulf declines this offer. "But Beowulf refused to rule when his Lord's own son was alive." "He gave Herdred all his support, offering an open heart where Higlac's young son could see wisdom he still lacked himself: warmth and goodwill were what Beowulf brought his new king." This shows Beowulf's loyalty to Higlac his late King, and to his family. Beowulf would not be dishonorable by taking what wasn't rightfully his; he would rather stand by Higlac's son and teach him all he knows. Beowulf is the hero to his King's son and country, by staying loyal and having honor. Beowulf does eventually become king when Higlac's son is killed. "Beowulf ruled in Geatland, took the throne he refused, once, and held it long and well." Because of Beowulf's well-known reputation, all the Geat's enemies were afraid to fight against the mighty warrior. As Beowulf reigned for years, all was peaceful, until 50 years have gone by and a dragon wakes from his…show more content…
Though it is fiction, readers can comprehend Anglo-Saxon thoughts and their concepts of heroism, life and death. Anglo-Saxon culture valued strength, honor, courage, loyalty, and fearlessness. Beowulf was a hero because he was strong, loyal, brave, honorable, and fearless. He wanted to be remembered beyond the years of his life. These values in heroes has not disappeared like its culture. Today in the fiction of this modern world, the characteristics of a hero have not changed. Heroes in movies, TV shows, and literature all have these qualities. Beowulf's main goal was to seek glory and fame all the days of his life. Because of his heroic deeds Beowulf does not die, but lives on; not just in a tower above the sea, but in a poem that was sung for centuries around the

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