Anglo Saxon Values in Beowulf

Subject: 📚 Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 862
Topics: Beowulf, 📗 Book
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Introduction

The literature of Anglo-Saxon moves along values and history of the stint over spoken incantations and verses. Numerous cultural principles are valued by Anglo-Saxons in various elegies and epics (Rozano-García, 2019). Fundamentally, the epic of the elegies and Beowulf prominently demonstrate the characteristics and values of “The Wanderer “and “The Seafarer” (Carreño, 2022).  Accordingly, the literature not only respects but also admires at least three key cultural values of loyalty, bravery, and justice. Beowulf is the protagonist in the poem who significantly demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon values both as a king and as a warrior. Accordingly, as a Geatish warrior, he utilizes his super-human power to fight back against Grendel, a terrible monster who normally attacks the neighboring kingdom of Danes (Neidorf, 2021). In addition to that, Beowulf goes on and kills the mother of Grendel and this bravely enables him to become the Geatish King. Besides, he manages to establish a successful kingdom during his reign and even goes further and sacrifices his life to the dragon for the sake of his kingdom’s survivability (Rozano-García, 2019). Particularly, Beowulf depicts the values of courage, justice as well as physical strength as demonstrated in his various battles as well as his intentions of carrying them.

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Physical Strength

Accordingly, the poem portrays that Beowulf had extraordinary physical strength, especially in the instance where he fought the powerful monster called Grendel who had been fighting and killing several warriors from the Danish community. As such, the physical strength is depicted when Beowulf got hold of Grendel (Carreño, 2022). Consequently, Grendel attempted to sneak but he realized that Beowulf’s handgrip was so tight and harder than any other man he had encountered on the earth. The culture of Anglo-Saxons greatly valued the physical strength of a person because it is through it you could defeat enemies (Rozano-García, 2019). Grendel, the monster, declared that Beowulf was the strongest person he had faced in his life. And therefore, due to that impressive strength, both Geats and Danes decided to follow and make Beowulf their king because he could not only fight their battles but also protect them.

Justice

Furthermore, Beowulf significantly depicts the Anglo-Saxon value of justice through several of his activities and actions. Justice refers to the quality of being fair or just. As such, Beowulf demonstrates the value of justice by fighting their enemies because of the wrong they have done to them to prevail right and just (Neidorf, 2021). Accordingly, this is a good representation of justice since Beowulf fought those foes because the Dane society had no mystic powers of fighting back. Therefore, by fighting those monsters he offers fairness to society because the people regard monsters as evils and as result, he becomes their hero. In addition to that Beowulf slays Grendel and his mother due to the evils they have brought to the people. As such, Beowulf demonstrates justice in that instance by avenging the warriors’ death (Carreño, 2022; Chambers, 2018). Accordingly, he does what is right by killing the wrongdoers for the good of the people in general. Lastly, the mother of Grendel shows justice following the death of her son by retrieving his remains because it is fair to have what her son has left behind (Rozano-García, 2019). Fundamentally, according to Beowulf, it is quite significant for the people to be fair and right as a way of assisting them in fighting the battle between evil and good in their society.

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Courage

A person develops and learns elements of courage and bravery in various instances and circumstances of life. In many cases, people are inclined to learn through their past experiences as well as various mistakes. Accordingly, Beowulf reveals the Anglo-Saxon values of bravery and courage throughout the entire poem. In the first place, Beowulf courageously volunteers to help Hrothgar in eliminating the Grendel monster’s kingdom (Carreño, 2022). As a result, he bravely battles and murders the mother of Grendel. More importantly, when he becomes the king and advances in years, he courageously leads his warriors in fighting and killing the dragon. However, he dies heroically while killing the dragon to save his kingdom (Chambers, 2018). For Beowulf to face all those instances it takes courage and bravery throughout his life. Although Beowulf lost some battles because not every battle is won, at the end of the poem he emerges as the hero (Horáček, and; Rozano-García, 2019). Consequently, Beowulf displays that his courage and bravery mainly dominate the poem hence encouraging people not to give up despite encountering some discouragements in their life (Neidorf, 2021). Altogether, the Anglo-Saxon values of courage and bravery that Beowulf demonstrates give the moral lesson of this poem as a significant value in one’s life.

Conclusion

Conclusively, Beowulf significantly demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon values both as a king and as a warrior. The poem indicates that Beowulf had extraordinary physical strength, especially in the instance where he fought the powerful monster called Grendel who had been fighting and killing several warriors from the Danish community. Beowulf demonstrates the value of justice by fighting their enemies because of the wrong they have done to them to prevail right and just. Besides, Beowulf significantly depicts the value of courage throughout the poem, especially in the case of eliminating monsters and the dragon.

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  1. Carreño, A. G. (2022). Seamus Heaney and his Translation of Beowulf: Strategies for Simultaneously Highlighting the Source-Text and the Translator’s Cultures. VERBEIA. Revista de Estudios Filológicos. Journal of English and Spanish Studies8(7), 37-61.
  2. Chambers, R. W. (2018). Beowulf. BoD–Books on Demand.
  3.  Horáček, K. From Beowulf to Arthur: The Evolution of Heroism.
  4. Neidorf, L. (2021). The Beowulf Poet’s Sense of Decorum. Traditio76, 1-28.
  5. Rozano-García, F. J. (2019). “Unferϸ maðelode”: The Villain in Beowulf Reconsidered. English Studies100(8), 941-958.
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