Beowulf-the Exemplar Hero in Anglo-Saxon Society

Topics: Beowulf, Germanic peoples, Heorot Pages: 3 (1137 words) Published: March 27, 2013
Beowulf-the Exemplar Hero in Anglo-Saxon Society
The Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes were the three related Germanic tribes that invaded the Roman province around the year 450 after the Romans withdrew. During the Anglo-Saxon era, most people were pagan but Christianity also influenced them. In pagan society, the relationship between each person and their tribes is a very close; also, the collective power of the tribe was needed when people faced the difficulties of the struggle for survival. Such a strong sense of a collective enabled them to protect their loved ones and the tribe as a personal responsibility. During this time, the heroes were grateful and welcomed. Since, the blood vengeance was a sacred duty during the Anglo-Saxon era, revenge for the man’s kinsmen was required. Trust, loyalty, and respect between the warrior and his lord are one aspect of the Heroic Code. Being brave enough to protect his people and his kinsmen is one aspect of the Heroic Code as well. Beowulf represents the Heroic Code of Anglo-Saxon culture because he has trust, loyalty, and the respect of his lord and thane; he avenges his kinsman after one of them is slain; he is so courageous to protect his kinsmen no matter what, whether he becomes King or not. “The lord leads his men in battle and rewards them with the spoils; royal generosity was one of the most important aspects of heroic behavior. In return, the retainers are obligated to fight for their lord to the death, and if he is slain, to avenge him or die in the attempt” (Old English Poetry, Page 8). First, trust, loyalty, and respect exist between Beowulf and his lord. Trust, loyalty, and respect are three basic elements between the warrior and the lord. First, the lord and the warriors should trust in each other; the warriors trust their lord will protect them and the lord trusts the warriors will try to protect the people and the lord. Then, based on the trust, the warriors will be loyal to their lord and their...
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