Violence for the Lord? (An Essay on the Violence in “The Battle of Maldon”)
The Battle of Maldon is a historic piece, which portrays violence in an absolutely beautiful way. Violence is not simply the act of fighting, but it serves the purpose of being one hundred percent loyalty to your people and to the lord. While we typically imagine battle to be bloody and horrifying, The Battle of Maldon shows us the emotional aspect to fighting. The soldiers involved, Eadwaeard, Aetheric, and Godric, among others, were honored and respected for their courage and willingness to sacrifice their own lives for their lords and their people. While it is more respected to handle these matters using non-violent resolutions today, had the soldiers approached the situation at hand without battle, there would have been many complaints and accusations from the people. One who did not fight using violence was considered a coward or a fool. Violence was the only resolution. In The Battle of Maldon in particular, we see that violence was not just a tool to fight injustice, but more so a way to gain land and provide better lives for the residents.
In the beginning of the poem, we see that there is an alternate option to the battle which ultimately takes place. Line 31 begins, “Brave sea-warriors sent me here to simply say that you might want to give us gold rings as a defense, rich gifts and offerings to ease your peril, protect your people.” While this may be a reasonable option if one were looking out for the citizens, to these soldiers in particular, it was taken as more of an insult. The Anglo-Saxens responded by raising weapons and taking over the bridge with their forces, prepared to take down the Vikings. But we know this was not the smartest idea. Though the historic accuracy of this poem is questioned, the piece about the bridge seems accurate, according to the text prior to the reading online. Due to the tide, the bridge was often difficult to navigate, causing problems...
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