The folk epic Beowulf reflects many Anglo-Saxon values. The Anglo-Saxon epic stresses the physical world, fairness, boasting, love of glory, belief in wyrd, deep sense of loyalty to the tribe and the tribal leader, and the importance of generosity and bravery.
The Anglo-Saxon value of fairness is reflected by Beowulf. He asks Hrothgar the favor of fighting alone with Grendel with only the help of his men,
as stated in this line, “That this one favor you should not refuse me-that I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall.” Beowulf also demonstrates fairness when he decides that he will use no weapons with his battle with Grendel. Beowulf hears about the fact that Grendel’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none, therefore neither will Beowulf.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Another Anglo-Saxon belief is also demonstrated by Beowulf, this being the value of boasting. Beowulf boasts a lot to Hrothgar about all his successes. He brags about his strength and valor. He describes many treacherous journeys in which he killed many of his enemies, drove five great giants into chains, swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one. This boasting is important because it assists Hrothgar in believing that Beowulf is the right man to defeat Grendel. While Beowulf boasts about is great strength, he is also loyal to the king, reflecting another Anglo-Saxon value of being lenient to the lord.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hrothgar demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon value of love of glory in the poem. When Hrothgar leads the Danes to glory, he decides to build a hall that would hold his mighty band. And in that hall he would divide the spoils of their victories to his comrades and kinsmen. He fulfills his promise naming the mead hall Herot and commending a banquet.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many of the Anglo-Saxon values expressed in Beowulf revolve around boasting, loyalty, strength and fairness. The comprising of these qualities makes Beowulf the hero, and Beowulf an excellent literary work of Anglo-Saxon history.</p>
Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay
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According to the definition, a hero is one who embodies the values of their society. In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, the character Beowulf is used to convey the value that Anglo-Saxons placed on courage, strength, and loyalty. Courage is certainly a trait which every hero must possess, particularly because no one wants a hero who is a coward. Thankfully, Beowulf is no coward. When Beowulf hears of Grendel’s exploits in Denmark, he travels to the “distant” land, without hesitation, to rid the Danes of that “demon…conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God”. Beowulf’s courage is displayed even more when he chooses not to fight with weapons, despite knowing…show more content…
Beowulf’s last test of courage comes in his old age when his people are threatened by a “mighty” dragon. Beowulf felt as if something he had done had caused the irascible beast to wreck havoc on his people, “killing and destroying” them and their homes with its “molten” breath. Knowing what had to be done, Beowulf bravely faced the dragon, while all of his people, except for one, fled in fear. His last battle, which ended in death, displayed Beowulf’s unwavering courage, the type that every hero should possess. Strength is without a doubt one of the most important traits which a hero should possess and the Anglo-Saxon’s felt the same way. Beowulf’s strength can be compared to that of the American comic book heroes, Superman and Batman, for he is deemed the “strongest and greatest of the Geats”. The first time that his strength is witnessed, not just spoken of, is when he kills Grendel by ripping the monstrous villain’s arm off. But his most notable display of strength occurs when he enters into combat with Grendel’s mother. When everything seems to be going all wrong for Beowulf, he spies a “heavy” sword hanging on the wall of her lair. With all his power and might, Beowulf drew the sword, “hammered by giants...and….so massive that no ordinary man could life it”, from its scabbard. He “lifts it high over his head”, the sword clasped