Beowulf as a Reflection of Anglo-Saxon Values
- Length: 451 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
In history, evil men have reigned supreme across many cultures. Some people say that being evil is inherent in every human. If this is true, then writing may be the ultimate way of releasing hatred of the world without 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 constantly angry, afraid and unsure of himself; while Beowulf is fearless and loyal to his king.
Through Grendel's own hatred and anger, he brings his own downfall. The "sin-stained demon" has his roots in the vile creature Cain. Since Grendel is spawned from Cain, he can never feel the love of God or of people: ". . . God, / Whose love Grendel could not know." (84-85). It is because of this, that Grendel hates every mortal being he lays his eyes upon. Hatred leads to anger, constant anger, ". . . bearing God's hatred, / Grendel came, hoping to kill" (393-394). Fear is Grendel's other major flaw, "His mind was flooded with fear . . ." (435). Through his hatred and fear, Grendel seals his own fate.
Anger then yields itself to insecurity and low self-esteem. The moment Grendel realizes that there is someone just as strong as him, he tries to run away, ". . . Grendel's one thought was to run / From Beowulf, flee back to his marsh and hide there:" (437-438), but it is too late. Just like when the average bully meets his match, he runs in fear of not being able to win. Grendel does not have the audacity to stand up to Beowulf with all his might and therefore falls to Beowulf.
The exact opposite of the points mentioned thus far are made manifest within the character of Beowulf. Beowulf is easily able to defeat Grendel once Grendel has lost all hope of winning, ". . . remembered his final / Boast and, standing erect, stopped / The monster's flight. . ." (440-443). Beowulf is also, instead of insecure and under-confident, overly confident and a braggart.
How to Cite this Page
| Essay An Analytical View of Beowulf - Was the story of Beowulf’s battle between good and evil a reflection of Christ battling Satan. There are 3 major battles within Seamus Heaney's edition of the epic poem Beowulf all of which earn Beowulf some heroic status for saving the town from the evil antagonists that lurk, but is there a deeper meaning behind these battles than just an old tale. Is there some metaphor we are supposed to perceive. Throughout Beowulf there are a lot of different themes to pick and choose from, some interesting and more prevailing ones are that of pride vs.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]|
:: 25 Works Cited
|Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay - According to the definition, a hero is one who embodies the values of their society. In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, the character Beowulf is used to convey the value that Anglo-Saxons placed on courage, strength, and loyalty. Courage is certainly a trait which every hero must possess, particularly because no one wants a hero who is a coward. Thankfully, Beowulf is no coward. When Beowulf hears of Grendel’s exploits in Denmark, he travels to the “distant” land, without hesitation, to rid the Danes of that “demon…conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God”.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]||693 words|
|Essay on Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon Symbolism - Anglo Saxon’s history is well known for their loyalty, courage and bravery. Beowulf our protagonist is symbolized as a hero, who represents the Anglo Saxons at the time. Beowulf earns his fame and respect through battling creatures nobody else would want to face. These creatures symbolize the evil that lurks beyond the dark. Beowulf’s intense battle with these creatures’ symbolizes the epic battle of good versus evil. In the end good triumphs over evil but one cannot avoid death. Beowulf’s death can be symbolized as the death of the Anglo Saxons.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]||843 words|
| An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf - Anglo-Saxon Customs and Values Reflected in Beowulf - Anglo-Saxon Customs and Values Reflected in Beowulf Readers today approach the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf with cultural preconceptions very different from those expressed by the author of this poem. This essay hopes to enlighten the modern reader regarding the customs and values from the time of the poem’s composition. Beowulf makes reference to Ingeld and his wife and the coming Heathobard feud: in that hot passion his love for peace-weaver, his wife, will cool (2065-66) This is a rare passage, for Anglo-Saxon poetry rarely mentions romantic feelings between spouses.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]|
:: 4 Works Cited
|Beowulf - The Achetype of an Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay examples - In present day's society a hero can be seen as someone who risk their own safety or well-being to help someone else either individually or to help the community. Today's requirement to be a hero can be anyone as long as they make sacrifices for others, in which they can be seen as selfless and caring. Many traits that are portrayed of heroes currently were once used to determine a hero in Anglo-Saxon times. In the epic poem Beowulf, by an unknown author, the protagonist Beowulf is visioned to be the archetype of an Anglo-Saxon hero.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]||581 words|
|Beowulf: The Ideal Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay - Originating in the Anglo-Saxon period, the epic poem Beowulf portrays a legendary hero. Beowulf established the earlier form of heroism, and was then later introduced in to the English culture. Praised and admired by many people, Beowulf possesses several distinct traits that allow him to be defined perfectly as an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero; his eagerness to seek glory and fame, rather than richness and treasures, his loyalty and graceful attitude not only to his rulers but also to his followers, and his contradictory beliefs of faith and fate In the Anglo-Saxon society, an ideal hero does not seek riches of gold and treasures; instead, he seeks fame and glory through his accomplishments.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]||864 words|
|Beowulf is an Anglo Saxon Hero Essay - There has only been one hero in Anglo-Saxon history, only one man can meet every requirement one needs to be classified as hero. Only one man's honor, loyalty, courage, generosity, and wisdom, fits the true definition of a hero. That man is Beowulf. With these leading traits, Beowulf's rise to heroism was not just by chance. He filled each of the five characteristics perfectly, as if it was his destiny to be admired. To gain the respect and glory that a person of power needs, one must earn it.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]||1791 words|
|Beowulf the Anglo Saxon Hero Essay - The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible person with all the extraordinary traits required of an Anglo Saxon hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters many monsters and horrible beasts, but he never fears the threat of death. His leadership skills are outstanding and he is even able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero who risks his life countless times for glory which to him meant eternal life.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]||499 words|
| Essay about Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf - Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf By definition the word “hero” might be interpreted in one of four ways. First off in mythology and legend, a hero is often of divine ancestry. He is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Secondly, a hero is a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Thirdly, a hero can also be described as a person noted for special achievement in a particular field.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]|
:: 6 Works Cited
|Epic of Beowulf Essay - Depiction of Anglo-Saxon Society in Beowulf - The Depiction of Anglo-Saxon Society in Beowulf The Old-English or Anglo-Saxon era extends from about 450 to 1066. The Germanic tribes from the Continent who overran England in the fifth century, after the Roman withdrawal, brought with them a language that is the basis of modern English, a specific poetic tradition, and a relatively advanced society. All of these qualities and spirit are exemplified in the eighth-century epic poem Beowulf. To begin with, much of the Old English poetry was probably intended to be chanted, with harp accompaniment, by the Anglo-Saxon scop.... [tags: Epic Beowulf essays]||751 words|
Anglo-saxon Values Epic Poem Beowulf Too Late Own Fate Many Cultures
The boasting would come naturally to any ancient Anglo-Saxon if they had done a great feat though. Thus Beowulf is a symbol of the good in people's hearts for all time.
All in all, Beowulf is a first-class example of how Anglo-Saxons lived their life. From Herot to the demons lurking within the earth, this epic poem was passed down orally from generation to generation in meetings and social gatherings. It is a feat in itself that this work of literature has survived the ages, even in print.
Anglo-Saxon Values Demonstrated by BeowulfGet Your
Starting at Just $13.90 a page
Ms. Jaworski AS English II 17 October 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 goes on to kill Grendel’s mother and become the king of the Geats. During his reign, Beowulf runs a successful kingdom and sacrifices his life to save his kingdom from a dragon.
Beowulf demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon values of physical strength, a thirst for revenge, and courage, through the manner in which he fights various battles and his motives for fighting them. Beowulf’s extraordinary physical strength is displayed during his battle with Grendel, a powerful monster who has fought and killed many Danish warriors without difficulty. When Grendel tries to sneak up on Beowulf, Grendel discovers “himself in a handgrip harder than anything he had ever encountered in any man on the face of the earth” (Beowulf lines 749-752).
Physical strength is greatly valued by the Anglo-Saxon culture, and Beowulf is stronger than anything Grendel has ever faced before. Because of his impressive strength, both the Danes and Geats are willing to follow Beowulf into battle and can count on him to lead and protect them. It is evident from Grendel’s struggle that Beowulf surpasses the physical strength of the normal human, making him a model Anglo-Saxon warrior. Along with his immense physical strength, Beowulf is willing to seek revenge to achieve justice.
BEOWULF’S BATTLE WITH GRENDEL’S MOTHER IS DRIVEN BY REVENGE. GRENDEL’S MOTHER SNATCHES AND KILLS A DANE NAMED AESCHERE, WHICH DEEPLY AFFECTS KING HYGELAC, WHOM BEOWULF IS VERY CLOSE TO. BEOWULF TAKES IT UPON HIMSELF TO AVENGE THE DEATH OF AESCHERE FOR KING HYGELAC AND INSTIGATE A BATTLE WITH GRENDEL’S MOTHER IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE. BEOWULF’S BELIEF THAT “IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO AVENGE DEAR ONES THAN TO INDULGE IN MOURNING” REPRESENTS THE BELIEFS OF MANY ANGLO-SAXON WARRIORS. (BEOWULF LINES 1384-1385). IN ANGLO-SAXON CULTURE, GRIEVING OVER ONE’S LOSSES IS DISCOURAGED.
IF AN ANGLO-SAXON WARRIOR IS WRONGED, THEY ARE OBLIGATED TO SEEK VENGEANCE AND BE WILLING TO INSTIGATE BATTLES IN ORDER TO BE A SUCCESSFUL AND RESPECTED WARRIOR OR KING. BEOWULF LIVES UP TO THE SOCIAL NORMS OF ANGLO-SAXON SOCIETY AND MANAGES TO MAINTAIN HIS HEROIC REPUTATION BY ATTEMPTING TO KILL GRENDEL’S MOTHER AS AN ACT OF REVENGE. A BATTLE FOUGHT IN THE NAME OF REVENGE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SHOWCASE A HERO’S TALENT AND DRIVE THEM TO FAME, BUT THAT THIRST FOR REVENGE IS AN EMPTY THREAT WITHOUT COURAGE TO BACK IT UP.
Beowulf reveals tremendous courage in each of his battles, but exceptional fearlessness is displayed in his fight against a dragon to defend the people of his kingdom. Beowulf is very old at the time of this battle, so he knows the chances of him being able to defeat the dragon and survive are slim. Despite the unlikelihood of his victory, Beowulf still chooses to fight, and tells his men,”this fight is not yours, nor is it up to any man except me, to measure his strength against the monster or to prove his worth.
I shall win the gold by my courage” (Beowulf lines 2532-2536). As king, Beowulf abides to the norms of Anglo-saxon culture and feels that he must be the one to lead his men to battle no matter what the cost. All of Beowulf’s warriors, except Wiglaf, abandon him when he needs them most during the battle, out of fear for their lives. Beowulf and Wiglaf are the only ones with the courage to continue fighting the dragon even when the odds are working against them, proving that they alone have the values of a true Anglo-saxon warrior.
Throughout Beowulf’s life he earns his place as a devoted and successful Anglo-Saxon warrior because he demonstrates their values not once, but three times. In each of his battles, Beowulf”s actions portray the key Anglo-Saxon values of immense physical strength, the right to seek revenge, and courage. By observing the manner in which Beowulf fights his battles, one can conclude that in order to be a respected Anglo-Saxon leader and warrior one must possess all of these qualities.
Do you like
this material?Get help to write a similar one
Leaders today exemplify traits the people of society value, which allow the leaders to gain the trust and admiration of others, just as Beowulf did. This is evident in the protagonists we choose for our literature and the people we choose to lead us. For example, selflessness is highly valued in today’s society, and a major literary hero, Superman, shows this characteristic by fighting evil to save others without concern for himself. Beowulf and leaders today are able to achieve respect and power because they embody the traits admired by the people of their time.
Author: Allan Leider
Anglo-Saxon Values Demonstrated by Beowulf
We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!
How fast would you like to get it?