Beowulf: An Analysis

Topics: Beowulf, Anglo-Saxons, Germanic peoples Pages: 4 (1615 words) Published: March 22, 2011
Stav Gare
Mrs. Saddler
Anglo Saxons are Germanic people that lived during the 5th and 6th centuries. This early Anglo-Saxon society was centered on families and clans. The earliest Saxon settlers and families in England were pagans who worshipped a number of gods. Although Anglo Saxons had unalterable beliefs, Christians eventually purveyed their religion upon the pagans. However, the ideals of paganism still perpetuate through the most prominent epic poem of this era called Beowulf. Beowulf embodies both epic and Christian poetry, but since the written language of Old English was not fully developed during this period, oral poetry was the basis of passing down important information about their society. Furthermore, in Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, is an epic hero that emerges successful in his triumphs and tribulations by using his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people’s safety before his own. Beowulf encounters ferocious monsters and dragons, yet never fears the threat of death. Beowulf continuously risks his life to secure the safety and rescue kingdoms and their civilians until his death. He is the ultimate epic hero and is immortally glorified. Beowulf is a perfect description of Anglo-Saxon times because of its values, poetic style, and epic hero. Beowulf is the paradigm of the epic hero who was revered in Anglo Saxon times. A hero tends to be a man who is born into royalty and must incorporate certain traits like wisdom, strength, and courage that set him apart from the average person. Beowulf shows courage throughout his life while fighting supernatural monsters like Grendel, his mother, and the dragon. Beowulf’s courage shows the ultimate form of greatness when he fights Grendel and “instantly seizes [Grendel], claws/bent back as [he] leaned up on one arm. /That shepherd of evil, guardian of crime, / knew at once that nowhere on earth/had [Grendel] met a man whose hands were harder…...
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