Theme of Beowulf

Topics: Anglo-Saxons, Beowulf, Hero Pages: 2 (687 words) Published: October 8, 1999
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 of humility, yet his important role in society and his ideals of chivalry, Beowulf was the definition of a hero in his own time. This novel develops the theme that with honor towards chivalry and faith in yourself, anything can be accomplished.

To be a hero in the Anglo-Saxon period, you proved yourself by doing good deeds,showing honor and exemplifying bravery. But with all of his amazing characteristics, Beowulf had a hard time proving humility. "you’re Beowulf, are you - the same boastful fool who fought a swimming match with Brecca, both of you daring and young and proud, exploring the deepest seas, risking your lives for no reason but the danger? All older and wiser heads warned you not to, but no one could check such pride."(p.39, Beowulf). This quote best describes Beowulf as a child, full of pride and not that good at hiding it. "I fought that beast’s last battle, left it floating lifeless in the sea." (p.40 Beowulf). Another quote that showed that in his older age, he had no problem expressing how good he was. A Knight , a hero in the near future, was not one to be as outspoken of his capabilities as Beowulf, even though they did both have the same roles in society and honor towards chivalry. Two qualities that did make Beowulf look a lot more heroic, unlike his absence of humility.

Beowulf’s role in society was almost identical to that of a Knight. Only, unlike the Knight, Beowulf made the choice to have this role in society. He was...
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