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Embodiment Of Anglo-Saxon Values In Beowulf

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf’s strength, courage, and leadership enable him to embody the values of the Anglo- Saxon time period and represent an epic hero. Beowulf often encounters catastrophic situations in which he often intervenes. The code of ethics of an epic hero compels Beowulf to confront all obstacles that await him in society. Beowulf discovers his destiny as he follows the epic hero code of conduct. Beowulf allows his fate to take control and uses his integrity to conquer all evil. The protagonist of the novel, Beowulf, embodies values and displays various heroic traits due to his fairness and boastfulness.

Beowulf embodies the values of the Anglo-Saxon time period through his battle with Grendel. Beowulf expresses the theme of honor because the Anglo- Saxon culture depicts fair fights as the only honorable fights. Beowulf states that his “hands Alone shall fight for me, struggle for life Against the monster. God must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip”. Beowulf insists on battling Grendel without using a weapon. Beowulf desires to use his bare hands because Grendel does not use weapons in combat. Instead of using a weapon, Beowulf sacrifices his ability to use his sword in an attempt to make the altercation fair. Beowulf’s sense of honor is significantly more notable than the rest of society, enabling him to be the epic hero.

In the Anglo-Saxon culture, heroes are expected to boast, however, their boasting must be supported by courageous actions. In the Anglo-Saxon culture, boasting permitted individuals to understand who you are and establish credibility as a man. Beowulf, a pagan hero who fought for glory, had earned the ability to boast throughout Anglo-Saxon society. In lines 244-255 Beowulf utilized boasting to express his abilities and strength to fight Grendel to King Hrothgar. Beowulf says, “They have seen my strength for themselves …. Grant me, then, Lord and protector of this noble place, A single request! I have come so far”. This enables Beowulf to assure King Hrothgar of his skills and give credibility for his promise. Ultimately, Beowulf proved his loyalty and maintained his reputation as an epic hero when he offered the gifts to Hygelac. His boastfulness not only exhibits his loyalty, bravery, and courage but his role as an epic hero. Beowulf applied heroic boasting as a form of honesty and this revealed his integrity as a man. This enabled Beowulf to demonstrate his capabilities and establish his honor in society.

In Anglo-Saxon society, a hero’s rite of passage is sought after by fame and fortune. Beowulf is an example of an epic hero through his skills of leadership, courage, and strength. This enables him to embody the values of the Anglo- Saxon time period through boasting and fairness. Against all odds, Beowulf demonstrated his will to survive through overcoming adversities. From engaging in combat against gruesome monsters to boasting about his various prominent abilities, Beowulf never strayed from the code of ethics. Beowulf found his true destiny by following the hero’s code of conduct. This allowed his fate to control him and captivated his integrity to vanquish all evil.   

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