The Heroic Code In Beowulf

468 Words2 Pages
Additionally, in Germanic societies, such as the one in which Beowulf takes place, there were heroic codes which defined how a noble person should act. It is composed of strength, courage and honor, these codes also included loyalty, generosity, and hospitality. The heroic code was of great importance in warrior societies. In Anglo-Saxon culture and literature, to be a hero was to be a warrior, which signifies the importance of the Heroic code (Stitt). Many examples can be seen with Beowulf, just as said in the book “Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked." (idk) That is to say, although still believing in fate, if it hasn’t been decided, Beowulf states that with the use of pure courage one’s future is able…show more content…
Typically, today in modern Judeo-Christian culture, one god determines the fate of human beings, yet in Danish culture there are no gods who are interested enough in the events of man enough to try to control their destiny (“Beowulf's Pagan and Christian Elements.”) In this epic, Beowulf includes several direct references to fate, which can also be known as Wyrd. An example would be “Wyrd often saves an undoomed hero as long as his courage is good,” which implies the fact that if a man’s courage holds out, he has a hope of winning through since Wyrd will often work to help such a man, as long as he is not doomed; conversely if a man is doomed then not even his courage can help him stand against ‘the course of events.’ (Wyrd: The Role of Fate) This can be seen during the fight with Grendel, when it was said “But fate, that night, intended Grendel to gnaw the broken bones of his last human supper,” meaning that no matter what Beowulf did, he was meant to beat Grendel. Also, when fighting the dragon, he exclaims “I will stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins,” which demonstrates Beowulf’s courage, but like stated before, even with courage, if someone is doomed, then there’s nothing that can be done. These examples show that the Anglo-Saxon understanding of fate is not all too different from our modern understanding, but most importantly, it displays the

More about The Heroic Code In Beowulf

Open Document