Beowulf is an epic poem being cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature. Beowulf is an Old English epic poem. The poem is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf, a hero of Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall in Herot has been under attack by a monster named Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is mortally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants cremate his body and erect a tower on a headland in his memory. Beowulf is clearly a hero because of his brave deeds, he is a strong and responsible leader, and his courage. Beowulf is a hero because of his brave deeds. Throughout Beowulf, Beowulf does many deeds which are considered to be brave during the Anglo-Saxon period.“Grendel is no braver, no stronger/Than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not,Easy as it would be. This fiend is a bold And famous fighter, but his claws and teeth.../ Beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him With my hands empty-unless his heart /Fails him, seeing a soldier waiting /Weaponless, unafraid. Let God in His wisdom /Extend His hand where He wills, reward /Whom he chooses!”. In his first battle, Beowulf fights Grendel. He fights without any armor. Also, Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother. He then
Numerous cultures have their own way of determining the status of a person by a value system. Although, the value system of the Anglo-Saxons in the Middle Ages is quite different than the value systems of today. The value systems, most people know, determine status by how much money or how accomplished an individual is. This is similar to the value system explained in the epic poem, but there are just a few differences. The value system is determined mostly by the heroic code, in which the main character in the epic poem, Beowulf, shows numerous characteristics of the heroic code that a warrior knight, of that time, followed. The heroic code also helps exemplify the culture of the Anglo-Saxon in the Middle Ages by
In the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of wealth that are shown in today’s modern society.
Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, treasure and weaponry were highly valued among the kingdom and its people. Only those worthy enough to the King or Queen would receive treasure. Treasure was typically given to high-ranking warriors and loyal civilians that had accomplished some great deed. Beowulf shows that these men were so attached to those treasures and weapons that they buried them along with their dead
As Beowulf gains wealth through winning battles, he also gains status. By defeating Grendel, he receives treasures from king Hrothgar. Also, Beowulf becomes king of the Geats after Heardred, son of Hygelac, dies. He continues to gain vast treasures through multiple victories. His increase in wealth and status inevitably causes an increase in pride, clouding his judgement. When the dragon attacks the Geats, Beowulf insists to fight the dragon alone even at such an old age. Although pride in the Anglo-Saxon culture is seen as a positive characteristic that warriors possess to gain confidence and perform well during battles, Beowulf’s overwhelming pride from an increase in wealth ultimately persuades him to make the fatal decision. The consequences
In Beowulf, the cultural traditions of the ancient Germanic tribes are expressed. Throughout the poem, treasures are a symbol of achievement, glory, and wealth in the Germanic culture. The possession of treasures such as gold earns one respect within the Germanic tribes. Moreover, the act of partitioning is celebrated and it earns you a title of a good king and warrior. While the doing the opposite condemns you and titles you a greedy king and warrior.
Monsters reinforce the heroic code by challenging the values of the heroic code, they show the relationship against good and evil, and are a challenge for Beowulf. During the Anglo-Saxon age where good and evil clashed in battle, there was a brave hero named Beowulf who fought many battles and who led monsters to their doom. With fate and strength by his side nothing could stop him. There were two kingdoms in this story that were overcome by evil. The People tried to fight back but it was no match for such an evil. The attitudes and actions between various monsters and humans show that Beowulf is a story comprised of battles putting good against evil.
Beowulf earned the right to be buried with the treasure because he earned it. Beowulf was brave enough to risk his life to protect all the people in his village and the geats pretty much lost everyone’s respect because they chickened out and ran and left beowulf there to fight on his own. The thief was disloyal to his people and the dragon reeked havoc on the geats. After beowulf was dead the geats built a tower to honor the Greatest, bravest man alive that honored them and fought for them and they took his trust for granted. It took 10 days to build but the geats built a monument in his honor. After it was built all the silver and jewels were buried in the sandy Ground to be hidden. The twelve of the bravest geats rode there horses around the tower telling their sorrows and telling stories of their dead king and his greatness, his glory praising him for heroic deeds for a life as noble as his name “Beowulf:.
Throughout the poem, Beowulf, the repetition of treasure plays a significant a role as it was important in Anglo-Saxon culture. Treasure had a positive moral value and symbolized honor and recognition as it is given after someone has performed a heroic act, such as after a battle. It also proved the heroism in the character as well as their showed their victory and achievements. This idea is depicted in the very beginning of the book when “they stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures were piled upon him, and precious gear” (34-37). This quote starts off giving the reader an indication that treasure meant importance,
“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with”- Brodi Ashton. When we were little we believed people that wore capes were the only heroes, but who knew we were completely wrong? Heroes come in all shapes in sizes. They can be 6’2” wearing camo defending our country, or they could be short and stumpy helping out the homeless. It doesn’t matter the appearance of the hero, It’s the values they obtain that make them a hero. In the story Beowulf a man from the geats, who comes to Hrothgards aide to help him slay a monster, Grendel. He boasts himself up and prepares for war with the vicious beast and becomes a hero. Another hero is Achilles in the illaid by homer. Achilles fights on the greeks side against the Trojans at war. At the beginning of the illiad he doesn’t do much but in the end he ecomes a true hero. Achillies and Beowulf are two important roles in each litature piece, they teach the reader their true values of a hero based on
Many cultures have their own way of determining the status of a person by a value system. Although, the value system of the Anglo-Saxons in the Middle Ages is quite different than the value systems of today. The value systems, most people know, determine status by how much money or how accomplished an individual is. This is similar to the value system explained in the epic poem, but there are just a few differences. The value system is determined mostly by the heroic code, in which the main character in the epic poem, Beowulf, shows many of those characteristics of the heroic code that a warrior knight, of that time, followed. The heroic code also helps exemplify the culture of the Anglo-Saxon in the Middle Ages by
The concept of a male dominated patriarchal society is not a recent composition. As far back as the middle ages, literature is strongly sentimental towards a male dominant society in which the woman plays the part of a peacekeeper or a beautiful object of desire, a respectful and obedient observer that is entirely confined – her role prescribed. Popular texts such as "Macbeth”, “Beowulf”, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and “The Book of Margery Kempe” show support for this prescribed anti-feminism. Women who obey and strictly follow the roles of wives, mothers, and “peace weavers” generally appear as confined. While such a word may conjure images of forceful restriction; the confined woman of Middle Ages literature appears happy, gracious and thankful to live in such a role. “Beowulf” and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” offer readers two distinctive stereotypes of women, those who are or are not confined to their role in society. By presenting extremely different illustrations of each idea a paradigm is set that a good woman is one who is confined while a bad woman is not as they can to act according to her own will, which is an apparently dangerous in the eyes of the Middle Ages. “Macbeth” and “The Book of Margery Kempe” expand beyond such blatant antifeminism, exploring the abilities of how one can take advantage of a patriarchal society, exploiting it for their own needs if need be. Through the lens of feminism, these texts also serve to show the depth of characters
Beowulf by Seamus Heaney introduces an epic hero named Beowulf, whose strength and power lead him to defeat many evil monsters.