Anglo Saxon Values

Topics: Beowulf, Anglo-Saxons, Saxons Pages: 3 (818 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Anglo-Saxon Values
In the book Beowulf, Beowulf, a Norse thane from Geatland becomes a legend after committing heroic deeds and overcoming impossible obstacles. The book Beowulf expresses the values of Anglo- Saxon culture. One value that it demonstrates is loyalty. In addition, the book also exemplifies the Anglo- Saxon value of courage. Another Anglo Saxon value which the book depicts is the desire for fame and riches. Loyalty is crucial to the story of Beowulf. During the second half of the book, Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats after the former leader; Hygelac is killed during a battle with a rival tribe. As the king of the Geats, Beowulf becomes responsible for not only the management of the kingdom, but he is also responsible for protecting it from those who wish it harm. After being robbed by a petty thief, a dragon became enraged and devastated the Geat countryside. Beowulf had been greatly affected after hearing of the dragon’s devastation as seen in this quote. His mind was in turmoil

Unaccustomed anxiety and gloom confused his brain
The fire dragon razed the coastal region and reduced forts and earthworks to dust and ashes So the war-king planned and plotted his revenge (Beowulf 2330-2336) From this quote, it is clear that Beowulf cared greatly for his people and was deeply affected after hearing of the state of his kingdom. Also, it shows that although Beowulf was in a state of emotional instability, he was motivated to fight in order to eradicate the creature who has been doing harm to his people. To sum it up, Beowulf’s loyalty to his people had portrayed the Anglo Saxon value of loyalty. Another value which was expressed in the book was courage. In Anglo-Saxon culture, actions were more meaningful than words. Beowulf had proved this to be true. This can be seen when he is about to fight Grendel. Shortly before the fight with Grendel, Beowulf says When it comes to fighting

I count myself as dangerous as any day as Grendel
So it won’t...

Cited: Seamus, Heaney, comp. Beowulf. Trans. Ed. New York: Norton, 2001. Print.
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