Beowulf And The Germanic Heroic Code Of Values, Traditions, And Customs

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Every culture has its own set of values, beliefs, and customs. These values, beliefs and customs create each unique culture, and these cultural constructions are directly and indirectly acquired throughout the lifetime of the culture. A major part of culture is literature; the literature of the time reflects upon daily life and society during the time that the story was composed. Beowulf, an epic poem, is one of the most important and only works of Anglo-Saxon literature. Much like a fable, the epic poem of Beowulf had lessons that taught the people within this society how to behave. This essay will outline how the importance of Christianity and the Germanic Heroic Code in Beowulf are revealed throughout the epic poem as important aspects of the Anglo-Saxon culture as a whole. The Germanic warrior society had an unspoken code – a list of rules that warriors and kings alike must uphold. The main aspects of this code for warriors were strength, courage, loyalty and honour; and for kings were loyalty to his warriors, generosity and a sense of responsibility. The character of Beowulf represents both sides of this Code very well. Hrothgar, King of Denmark, represents the nobility’s side of the code: Then Halfdane’s son presented Beowulf with a gold standard as a victory gift… that was both precious object and token of honor…
And so their leader, the lord and guard of coffer and strongroom, with customary grace bestowed upon Beowulf both sets of gifts.
A fair
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