Loyalty is expressed in Beowulf by Wiglaf’s unquestionable desire to do anything that was required of him to remain devoted to Beowulf. Wiglaf states in Beowulf, “I’d rather burn myself than see flames swirling around my Lord” (44). His loyalty was stronger than his trepidation.
By demonstrating much intricacy, the author suggests that two separate forms of pride are present in the attitude of Beowulf although the reader can decipher the actual interpretation in assorted ways. Beowulf has a tendency to show off how essential and valuable he is to those around him by boasting in his past triumphs such as when he says, “They had seen me bolstered in the blood of enemies when I battled and bound five beasts, raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea slaughtered sea-brutes” (Beowulf 419-422). Beowulf gives accounts of his heroic exploits to the
The Anglo-Saxon Culture is based on kinship,courage,and honor. Kinship in the Anglo-Saxon culture was the respect of social standards and the hierarchy and in turn helped the society to run relatively smoothly. Courage to the Anglo saxons was very important because it showed how high your social status should be and how much of a “man” you are and weather you deserve the honor given to you . Honor is arguably one of the most important things to the Anglo-Saxons seeing as if you earned enough honor you could move up in society and accand to positions such as a high ranking soldier or even at times under some conditions the king. The Anglo-Saxons were a complicated people with an even more complicated society but they are nonetheless a very interesting people’s.
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. Pride plagued his times, due to warriors’ great deeds, but it haunts modern times as well. The liberator of Heorot and the champion of the tale, Beowulf, demonstrates three admirable and relevant character traits, chivalry, bravery and pride.
Beowulf exhibits this trait multiple times in the text, as does his follower Wiglaf. When asked by Hrothgar to slay Grendel, the ever-so-loyal hero says, “send my hammered / Mail of my armor to Higlac, return / The inheritance I had from Hrethel” (Beowulf 186-188). This shows the loyalty he has for his family. When Beowulf (from the movie) heard about the demon beast, he willingly journeyed across the sea with his men to help a friend of his family rid the land of the evil creature. Wilgaf also proves to be loyal in both the text and movie by staying with Beowulf to help him conquer the dragon, even though all the other men had ran away in fear. He is rewarded with the right to the throne by Beowulf on his deathbed; “Wilgaf, lead my people, / Help them; my time is gone.” (Beowulf 811-812). Loyalty is a cultural value that influenced the Anglo-Saxon society and is still present
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. Boasting and self-possession were another common custom of the Anglo-Saxons. (“Anglo-Saxon Warfare Group”). Beowulf represents a quintessential Anglo-Saxon hero through his confident poise, his willingness for self-sacrifice, and his tenacity through near-impossible odds.
The novel, Beowulf, intertwines and twists many different motifs within its story. These include monsters, weapons, and feasting. One motif, storytelling, is woven throughout the tale, and has an essential role in Beowulf. With little or no access to the written word, storytelling was the ideal way to spread ideas for public consumption. Oral tales provide a view into Anglo Saxon beliefs, how their monarchy functioned, and their socio-political structure. These tales give modern historians and literary scholars concrete evidence to examine and understand Anglo Saxon life. In the day of Beowulf, storytelling functioned as principles to allow Anglo Saxon people to share and sculpt their future generations. Storytelling also played a large role in influencing civilians and leaders trust in others and each other. Stories could paint ideas and portraits of certain characteristics, even as either heroic or cowardly so as to manipulate civilians. In Beowulf, we learn the title character was widely respected. The stories of his triumph over the monsters spread throughout the land, affecting the other’s views on him as a loyal man and a hero through it all.
Beowulf cares greatly for his honor. When he is fighting Grendel, he decides to not use a weapon since Grendel has none. He doesn’t want anyone saying he won unfairly. When being spoken about his fighting it is said, “He, swiftly banished to mingle with monsters at mercy of foes…” (Part 2) Meaning Beowulf found himself doing these tasks to appease others because it was for his honor in which he did them. This is such a prime motivation for others too now. Men in the United States Armed Forces are told to fight with honor. Let your actions be that of which would make your country proud to call you their
These nations were all founded by Anglo-Saxons and while they shared languages, religions, and culture, they were constantly at war with each other, as all Anglo-Saxon warriors must embody possibly the most important of the Anglo-Saxon values, loyalty. Warriors must be absolutely loyal to their own kings and must fight to protect him and the kingdom even at the cost of their own life. In Beowulf, both loyalty and lack of loyalty are displayed. Beowulf's loyalty is shown when he asks his king, Hygelac, if he could be allowed to help King Hrothgar defeat the monster Grendel, who had been attacking Hrothgar's kingdom for the past 12 years. His victory over Grendel added greatly to his reputation as a warrior, and he had earned the respect of Hrothgar, but Beowulf remained loyal and returned to his king. 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
elements found in Beowulf and how this depicted culture in the early medieval ages. Broadly
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. I will discuss how both of these ideologies are seen within this poem, and how Beowulf is a pagan story with undeniable
Anglo-Saxons, the clans that ran Old England and led Britain, used bards and Scops to tell their stories. These bards and Scops, honored members of society, passed their oral traditions down the generations. A well-known epic poem told by the Anglo-Saxons, Beowulf, about an epic hero, who leads the Geats in many well-known victories, demonstrates various beliefs that the Anglo-Saxons had. Throughout time, the epic became continuously passed down was changed and evolved into the version that exists today. Which was written into text by Christian Monks, who added here and there parts of their own religion to the epic, leading to the well-known epic today. Moreover, through Beowulf, the reader has the ability to take some of their values and apply them to their life, and the overall human condition. These values and traits include, Honor, Bravery, and Loyalty, which considering their time they have become some of the most valuable traits in a person, and even a valiant warrior.
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.
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