top-rated free essay

Anglo-Saxon Values in Beowulf

By jawanda Dec 15, 2006 341 Words
The folk epic Beowulf reflects many Anglo-Saxon values. The Anglo-Saxon epic stresses the physical world, fairness, boasting, love of glory, belief in wyrd, deep sense of loyalty to the tribe and the tribal leader, and the importance of generosity and bravery.

The Anglo-Saxon value of fairness is reflected by Beowulf. He asks Hrothgar the favor of fighting alone with Grendel with only the help of his men, as stated in this line, "That this one favor you should not refuse me-that I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall." Beowulf also demonstrates fairness when he decides that he will use no weapons with his battle with Grendel. Beowulf hears about the fact that Grendel's scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none, therefore neither will Beowulf.

Another Anglo-Saxon belief is also demonstrated by Beowulf, this being the value of boasting. Beowulf boasts a lot to Hrothgar about all his successes. He brags about his strength and valor. He describes many treacherous journeys in which he killed many of his enemies, drove five great giants into chains, swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one. This boasting is important because it assists Hrothgar in believing that Beowulf is the right man to defeat Grendel. While Beowulf boasts about is great strength, he is also loyal to the king, reflecting another Anglo-Saxon value of being lenient to the lord.

Hrothgar demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon value of love of glory in the poem. When Hrothgar leads the Danes to glory, he decides to build a hall that would hold his mighty band. And in that hall he would divide the spoils of their victories to his comrades and kinsmen. He fulfills his promise naming the mead hall Herot and commending a banquet.

Many of the Anglo-Saxon values expressed in Beowulf revolve around boasting, loyalty, strength and fairness. The comprising of these qualities makes Beowulf the hero, and Beowulf an excellent literary work of Anglo-Saxon history.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Anglo-Saxon Values Demonstrated by Beowulf

    ...2014 Anglo-Saxon Values Demonstrated by Beowulf In Seamus Heaney's translation of the epic Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, exemplifies the values of an Anglo-Saxon warrior and king. Beowulf is a Geatish warrior who uses his super-human strength to defend the Danes, a neighboring kingdom, from a terrible monster named Grendel. Beowulf then g...

    Read More
  • Beowulf as a Reflection of Anglo-Saxon Values

    ...hurting anyone. In Beowulf, all of society's evil men can be personified within the demons of Cain. The main demon presented in Beowulf is Grendel. Grendel personifies the exact opposite of what the Anglo-Saxons held dear. Beowulf, the story's hero, is the embodiment of what every Anglo-Saxon strove to become in their lifetime. Grendel is consta...

    Read More
  • Anglo-Saxon Beliefs in Beowulf

    ...Anglo-Saxon Beliefs in Beowulf The great epic Beowulf gives modern culture an insight into the lives of early Anglo-Saxon people. Although this poem was composed by an unknown poet in the eighth century, Beowulf has been put into a modern translation by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. The translation lets readers understand how the earliest Eng...

    Read More
  • Beowulf reflection of Anglo-Saxons

    ... English 11A 4th hour 21 October 2013 Beowulf’s Reflection of Anglo-Saxons Have you ever wondered what a true hero is or how they became a hero? Throughout this poem Beowulf reflects the culture of Anglo-Saxons by showing bravery, and loyalty, he shows the courage he has in battle, and his people pay tribute and glorify him. Beowul...

    Read More
  • Anglo-Saxon Values

    ...Throughout the Anglo-Saxon and Middle Age periods the main characters always had a similar established value; honor. This value is prominent in Beowulf, "The Seafarer", and The Canterbury Tales. Each of the main characters portray honor either to himself, his followers, his king, and/or his God. These poems are the different aspects of honor in...

    Read More
  • Beowulf- The Ideal Anglo-Saxon Hero

    ... Beowulf- The Ideal Anglo-Saxon Hero When most people today think of a hero, they think of characteristics such as courage, strength, wisdom, and loyalty. Some of these same characteristics are seen in an Anglo-Saxon hero. The Anglo-Saxons had a very specific idea of what an ideal hero was. To be an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero a man would have...

    Read More
  • Beowulf and the Anglo Saxon Ideal

    ...The earliest piece of European literature ever printed was a piece of Anglo Saxon poetry known as Beowulf. The Anglo Saxons were a Germanic tribe that had many values and ideas that their people lived by and kept sacred in their day to day lives. These values include; bravery, loyalty, generosity, and heroism. Beowulf, the main character in the...

    Read More
  • The Anglo-Saxon Period and Beowulf

    ...B\ Questions and Answers The Anglo-Saxon Period: What had happened because the Britons relied on Roman military? Because the Britons came to rely on Roman military protection. After Roman Empire began to fall, Roman left Brirain to defend Roma, and then Britons became prey to invaders. What was the influence of Christian...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.