Beowulf And Anglo Saxons Essay

Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay

691 Words3 Pages

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”. Beowulf’s courage is displayed even more when he chooses not to fight with weapons, despite knowing…show more content…

Beowulf’s last test of courage comes in his old age when his people are threatened by a “mighty” dragon. Beowulf felt as if something he had done had caused the irascible beast to wreck havoc on his people, “killing and destroying” them and their homes with its “molten” breath. Knowing what had to be done, Beowulf bravely faced the dragon, while all of his people, except for one, fled in fear. His last battle, which ended in death, displayed Beowulf’s unwavering courage, the type that every hero should possess. Strength is without a doubt one of the most important traits which a hero should possess and the Anglo-Saxon’s felt the same way. Beowulf’s strength can be compared to that of the American comic book heroes, Superman and Batman, for he is deemed the “strongest and greatest of the Geats”. The first time that his strength is witnessed, not just spoken of, is when he kills Grendel by ripping the monstrous villain’s arm off. But his most notable display of strength occurs when he enters into combat with Grendel’s mother. When everything seems to be going all wrong for Beowulf, he spies a “heavy” sword hanging on the wall of her lair. With all his power and might, Beowulf drew the sword, “hammered by giants...and….so massive that no ordinary man could life it”, from its scabbard. He “lifts it high over his head”, the sword clasped

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Anglo Saxon Culture as Reflected in Beowulf Essay

943 WordsMar 17th, 20114 Pages

Anglo Saxon Culture as reflected in Beowulf Every culture has its own set of beliefs values and customs. Cultural beliefs, values, and assumptions are directly and indirectly acquired throughout a lifetime. A culture is the sum of a group’s way of life and this is no different with the ancient Anglo Saxon culture. Cultures usually have distinct figures that reflect their culture as a whole. The importance of religion, values, and heroes are reflected a great deal in the epic poem of Beowulf accurately showing the Anglo Saxon culture as a whole. Men dominated the Anglo Saxon society and the people loved a great hero like that of Beowulf. They believed a hero should be a keeper of his promises, be boastful and produce…show more content…

The spear was the most common weapon of choice and could be used as a missile or used in hand-to-hand combat. The sword was not a common weapon used at all because it was very expensive to produce. The sword was usually given to a great warrior who has demonstrated courageous acts in battle. All warriors had a shield that was made of wood and usually lined together by metal. A seaxe was a single bladed knife that was carried on the belt on the warrior and was used more as a tool than an actual weapon (Beowulf 112-113). Anglo-Saxons valued religion very highly. There is much controversy over Beowulf in dealing with pagan and Christian beliefs because historians believe both were integrated although Christianity seems to be more prevalent. Religion was the center of people’s life at this time and is demonstrated in Beowulf when Beowulf calling for God exclaims … “the almighty the maker of the earth”. Up until the 6th century it is back and forth between Christianity and Paganism. The greatest sources of information on the pagan period of religion are from the 7th to 8th century testimonies, such as Beowulf (Orchard 25). Paganism dealt with the worshiping of many gods. The celebration of glory has such emphasis in Beowulf because human praise is the highest goal of the pagan characters. . Anglo Saxon warriors wore helmets for battle with a pagan god on them named Freyr. Those who grew

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