Seafarer And Beowulf

796 Words4 Pages
Throughout the years, the world has changed and developed. Issues, beliefs, and morals are always changing although they can be alike in some manner. Literature is affected by this. Literature is greatly influenced by various aspects of the world and what occurred during the time it is written. Because of this impact, the time period is often reflected through the writing composed. Within the epics “The Seafarer” and Beowulf, the time period was reflected through the social ideals, styles of writing, and stories. Social ideals are characteristic standards that are admirable and modelled. These ideals are what people of that time want to be and expected to act like. An ideal inside the text of Beowulf is loyalty to the king. During the Anglo-Saxon period, kings ruled the numerous kingdoms and were immensely respected. In Beowulf, it reads, “My Lord, the great king of the Danes, commands me” (line 149). Addressing the king as Lord puts the king on the same level as God. Christianity was one of the religions the Anglo-Saxons believed in and God was the ultimate power. The king being compared to God put him on a high pedestal and made him as respectful as God. In addition, at the end of the quote it says that the king commanded Wulfgar to invite the soldiers into the hall. The word choice of commands shows that he feels as if it is his duty to fulfill the instructions of the king. Another social ideal Beowulf expresses is sense of fair play. In the lines 189-191, Beowulf says,
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