The Anglo-Saxon Primary Epic Beowulf

Good Essays
The Anglo-Saxon primary epic Beowulf reflects on many of the old traditions and the culture of the time period. The central ideas of heroism and that good will conquer evil play as the center focus for the basis of the story. In addition to those concepts, former beliefs and mindset are incorporated as well. The Christian faith, mainly the Cain and Abel tale, are integrated into the story by having certain figures symbolize evil. The descendants of Cain are looked at as cursed creatures and are therefore despised by inhabitants. Throughout the epic Beowulf, the three main antagonists, Grendel, his mother, and the dragon, disturb the peace of society in order to redirect their suffering that results from being the victims of other acts of cruelty …show more content…
Because of the old fashioned demeanor that people with a birth defects or are different are apart of the Cain bloodline, these creatures are “condemned as outcasts” of society (106). Among the outlawed are “ogres and elves, and elves phantoms / and the giants,” but most importantly Grendel (112-4). For committing no wrong actions, his fate is already decided to be shunned from humankind because he isn’t like the average man. However, his hatred towards the civilians only grows stronger over time as he “[lurks] and [swoops] in the long nights” (162). The meat hall, which symbolizes happiness and a safe haven for the soldiers returning from battle, has the opposite connotation to Grendel. It serves as an example of the happiness he is robbed from as being labeled as the “Lord’s outcast” (169). As a result, the constant “cruelties” he inflicts upon the people is because of the “misery [he faces] among the banished monsters, / [of] Cain’s clan” (104-5). Despite Grendel’s justified motivations for his terrorizing attacks, the Danes still believe that they are the victims and he is the one who is at fault in this situation. They look up to Beowulf as the hero, despite having to kill a man to earn that title. This is simply because Grendel is a “man outlawed / for wickedness” who tries to destroy, in their eyes, an innocent town undeserving of the punishment and Beowulf is an ordinary looking man with abnormal strength that has been sent from God to save them and send the devil back to hell

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem was a story of a great warrior who risked his life for others to keep theirs. The name of this great warrior is Beowulf, but this was not an average warrior. Beowulf is one of the greatest epic heroes who has ever ruled over Geatland. Beowulf is a loyal king to his people and always puts his people before himself. Beowulf had what all kings wished for which was courage, leadership, and strength. First, Beowulf was not just a strong minded hero but an physically strong one also…

    • 369 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anglo Saxons and Beowulf?

    • 680 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Anglo-Saxon poetry, composed within the fifth century through the eleventh century, reflects many ideas of Anglo-Saxon culture and life. Poetry is a part of typical Anglo-Saxon culture, and is commonly passed through generations orally. Among many works of poetry lies the story of Beowulf, a tale of kings, dragons, battles, and superhuman qualities. Beowulf exhibits many characteristics, themes, and ideal traits of Anglo-Saxon poetry by the importance of weapons, the Comitatus Code, and fame after…

    • 680 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anglo-Saxon warriors, like Beowulf, fight some pretty crazy creatures. They exhibit characteristics that many people do not possess anymore, like honor, loyalty, strength, bravery, courage, courtesy, leadership, and pride. When Beowulf speaks about his swimming challenge with Breca, he tells Unferth and the others, “…when some ocean creature pulled me to the bottom. Pinioned fast and swathed in its grip, I was granted one final chance: my sword plunged and the ordeal was over. Through my own hands…

    • 363 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Theme of Beowulf The Anglo-Saxons were the members of the Germanic peoples who invaded England, and were there at the time of the Norman Conquest. They were people of their own time, language and culture. In the Anglo-Saxon adventure filled tale of Beowulf, the heron Beowulf was, at the time, considered the modern day superman. His character exemplifies the Germanic hero, and consequently the Anglo-Saxon ideal: strong, fearless, bold, loyal, and stoic in his acceptance of fate. With the absence…

    • 666 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Values in Beowulf Heroes are a major character in many stories told today such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, and many more. But not everyone knows that heroes, with their recognizable traits and values, have been the main characters in stories dating all the way back to 700 A.D.. In the epic Beowulf, The main character has the ideal values of an epic hero, and they are expressed throughout the battles taken place between himself and his enemies. Beowulf illustrates the Anglo-Saxon values of strength…

    • 549 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    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 English people lived their lives. The epic has also brought us much knowledge on the customs and beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon people by fully encompassing their…

    • 1130 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    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 Christianity in Ireland and later for the people in Anglo Saxon? In Ireland, the spread of Christianity let Celtic monks to create one of the most beautiful early…

    • 571 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 341 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Beowulf Anglo Saxon Hero

    • 1290 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Beowulf Essay The epic heroic poem of “Beowulf” is the oldest manuscript that is still being read. This 3183 lines poem has raised the national epic status in England. This story is about an Anglo Saxon hero named Beowulf, a courageous, strong and protagonist of this epic, that has to battle with three different monsters that are: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon, in order to defend the people that needed his help. Grendel is depicted as a huge, strong, and horrible monster that everybody…

    • 1290 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Anglo-Saxon Culture Embedded in Beowulf The epic poem, Beowulf, exhibits many elements of Anglo-Saxon culture such as heroism, loyalty, and paganism. These components played a major role in the timeframe in which Beowulf was written and helped create a story that has been passed down through the generations. The Anglo-Saxon culture was an extremely pagan one. The author of Beowulf attempts to bring a Christian perspective to the epic and in particularly to the main characters’ actions. However…

    • 748 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays