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Analysis of Beowulf Essay example

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After a long journey, you find yourself in uncharted territory. As you scout the area, you notice a small village off in the distance. Upon approaching this settlement, you are greeted by some armed townsfolk. They attack you without warning, and take you to a large hall in the center of town. There, you see many men parading around in an intoxicated stupor, showing off their trophies and talking of their success in past battles and wars. They eat with bare hands, ripping at the food and drinking until they can no longer handle themselves, finding a home on the open floor. The hall is dressed with weapons of war, from shields to swords and everything in between. The women are wrapped in chains, fulfilling their only purpose of serving the surrounding men. After observing all of this, it would not be abnormal for you to view these people as barbaric in nature. You might be right, but there’s a good chance you have not observed all this culture has to offer. The above situation is similar in many cases some of the scenes found in the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. While one of the oldest literary works known to date, it has been argued that tribes such as the Anglo-Saxons can be considered barbaric, largely because of the numerous wars occurring in and around this time. However, I feel there are various parts to a nation’s culture that must be examined before such a statement can be claimed.
Before moving on, it is important to have a grasp of what we are trying to cover. The question at hand is whether or not we can consider the Anglo-Saxons a barbaric people while using the poem ...


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... at this concept of barbarism I feel the Anglo-Saxons make their break. I feel there is sufficient evidence to suggest there was a system of social order and government among these tribesmen. While their system of government, monarchism, is by no means sophisticated, it is none the less a way of establishing social order. The king of the tribe takes lead, making all the laws and customs by which the people follow. There seems to have been no complaints from the citizens about the way in which the government was handled, at least when using Beowulf as our reference. There are few (if any) descriptions of people running about as if under no guidelines or social decrees. Overall, even though the person in power was changing at an unpredictable rate, the government did a fair job in ruling the people and maintaining social order.


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