Beowulf Essay

546 Words 3 Pages
The oldest English epic, Beowulf, although composed twelve centuries ago, uses many of the same ideals and values that exist in modern life and modern literature. These attributes are still important, but they do not occupy every aspect of life as in Anglo-
Saxon England. Some of the ideals have little use today, such as fate, while other virtues, such as loyalty, are encouraged and highly respected traits. Other values, like fame, have taken on bad connotations in modern day and are not esteemed as they once were.
Fate, the idea that destiny is predetermined and nothing can be done to change that, was highly esteemed in Beowulf’s time, but is of little use today. Anglo-Saxon warriors knew that they only had two options when they entered
…show more content…
It original from the Biblical ideas of honoring God, honoring parents, honoring neighbors, et al. Fidelity between husband and wife is one sign of loyalty. Another is allegiance between countries. The Anglos felt a deep responsibility for fulfilling these duties. Fortunately, loyalty has held on through the many centuries since Beowulf. Today, man feels a responsibility, but it often gets ignored.
Competitition in all forms is the main reason. Personal advancement is too tempting.
Still, loyalty is admirable in those who are strong enough to resist temptation.
Fame is a less admired quality today than in Beowulf. Fame meant eternal respect to the Anglo-Saxons. This is partly because fame came mostly after death spread the achievements across the land. Without mass communication, tales of heroic deeds took much more time pass from person to person. Fame was not assured. It was mostly luck that anyone found about of the exploits of someone so far away. Most Anglo-Saxons were illiterate, therefore the tales had to be told from person to person. Today, fame is not as respected and often held in disdain by common people. Fame seems limited to a few fortunate ones who were in the right place at the right time. Infamy is much more accessible to the majority. The easiest way to get in the news is to kill a large amount of people. Good deeds go largely unnoticed today.
Beowulf’s ideals have been along a long time. Though values are determined
individually,
Open Document