Beowulf 1500 Years Later
With over 1500 years separating the ancient Anglo-Saxon society from the modern day society an average person would believe there are no similarities. However, as portrayed in the epic poem Beowulf many similarities are present in ideals and traditions. The ideals portrayed by the main character Beowulf are extremely similar to the ideals the current society lives by.
The Anglo-Saxons show throughout the story of Beowulf the traits of extreme bravery, violence, and the memorials of their fallen heroes. Beowulf shows extreme bravery when fighting Grendel’s mom. Beowulf swims down a murky filthy lake to retrieve his target and defeat her. The narrator yelled, “He leaped into the lake, would not wait for anyone’s/ answer; the heaping water covered/ him over” (Beowulf lines 570-572). The Anglo-Saxons loved the heroic member of the society, Beowulf portrays this hero when he jumps into the lake to get Grendel’s mom. The Anglo-Saxons strived and lived off violence. When Beowulf duels Grendel the monster, he does not hold back. The narrator graphically describes, “But his power had gone./ He twisted in pain, and the bleeding/ sinews deep in his shoulder snapped. Muscle and /bone split and broke, the battle was over” (495-499). Beowulf, in the eyes of the Anglo-Saxons, is a great hero to the Geats and Danes. When he is ultimately dethroned by the Dragon the society set up a memorial in his honor. The narrator explained, “The brave Geats build me a tomb/ When the funeral flames have burned me and built it/ here at the water’s edge, high on this spit of land, so sailors can see/ this tower and remember my name and call it/ Beowulf’s tower” (810-815). Beowulf’s tower shows that the Anglo-Saxons memorialized the fallen heroes of the time. He is a great warrior and they reward him by giving him his own tomb. The society of the Anglo-Saxons revolved around violence, heroism, and the ability to bury their dead.
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