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Analysis Of Anglo-Saxon Culture In Beowulf

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Anglo-Saxon culture, as conceived through the context and writing of Beowulf, provides a clear glimpse into the lives, modes of function, and habits of the ancient society. In this, many aspects of their culture can be understood from reading the epic and analyzing the importance of it’s contents. However, certain details about large cultural ideologies, such as Anglo-Saxon beliefs concerning the universe and conduct, convey a deeper and more important understanding of Anglo-Saxon society. These concepts, in building the framework of our understanding for and about Anglo-Saxon culture at this time period in history, displays a complexity and line of thought that is still present to a degree in modern times. Thus, the Anglo-Saxon concepts…show more content…
Another important concept that establishes relevance to Anglo-Saxon society throughout the epic is that of momento mori. This ideology maintains that, because of the lack of Anglo-Saxon belief in afterlife, it was imperative that each individual was remembered in order to be immortalized in their own fashion. This was accomplished by strength in battle, glory won in skill or victory, and hyper-masculinity. Further, this idea of leaving a lasting legacy after death is depicted vividly in Beowulf. First present during the victory feast after Grendel’s death, Hrothgar introduces the concept, stating to Beowulf that “Glory is now yours, forever and ever…” before continuing to praise his strength and courage that will be remembered “until the end of days” (Beowulf 950-56). Similar themes of honor, glory, and remembrance after death, recur often throughout the epic and display the clear importance of its role in Anglo-Saxon culture. Lastly, the idea of momento mori, likely occurring because of the short life expectancy and external conditions of the culture, was prevalent only because of the scops, or historical poets of the time, that told the stories of powerful relatives and great warriors like Siegmund within the epic of Beowulf (870-98). Therefore, the constant search for glory and remembrance
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