What Are Anglo-Saxon Values In Beowulf

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Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic about a great warrior who values the Anglo-Saxon ideas of loyalty, personal indebtedness, fame, fate, and heroism. The epic is named after, and centered on, Beowulf and his quests; however, several other characters also reflect Anglo-Saxon values throughout the story. For example, King Hrothgar built “the best/ Of all mead-halls” (ll.145-146) so that his “men lived happy” (l. 15). Hrothgar built the mead-hall because he was indebted to his men who served and protected him. Meanwhile, Beowulf was indebted to Hrothgar because Hrothgar once defended Beowulf’s family. Many other instances in Beowulf mirror the poet’s Anglo-Saxon world; after all, the story is immortal because of its fame, just like the character Beowulf. Beowulf was a hero because he believed that the wisdom of good would prevail over evil. Because Beowulf was a hero, he boasted…show more content…
If Beowulf did not believe in repaying others, he would have never battled with Grendel and his mother to protect the people of Herot. If the Geats were never taught to repay their leader for his insight and knowledge, Wiglaf would not have ran to Beowulf’s side when all of the others fled in fear. Although personal indebtedness was usually paid through acts of valor, the Geats who abandoned Beowulf during the battle with the dragon found a way to repay him. The Geats rode to places far and wide “Telling their sorrow, telling stories/ Of their dead kind and his greatness, his glory/ Praising him for heroic deeded, for a life/ As noble as his name” (ll. 281-284). Because the Geats told Beowulf’s story as they traveled, he became immortal through stories and tales told by people everywhere. If not for personal indebtedness, the Geats would not have had to spread the story of their beloved Beowulf; and his story would likely not be known
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