Essay on Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon Symbolism

Essay on Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon Symbolism

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Anglo Saxon’s history is well known for their loyalty, courage and bravery. Beowulf our protagonist is symbolized as a hero, who represents the Anglo Saxons at the time. Beowulf earns his fame and respect through battling creatures nobody else would want to face. These creatures symbolize the evil that lurks beyond the dark. Beowulf’s intense battle with these creatures’ symbolizes the epic battle of good versus evil. In the end good triumphs over evil but one cannot avoid death. Beowulf’s death can be symbolized as the death of the Anglo Saxons. Beowulf’s battle through the poem reflects the kind of culture that the Anglo Saxons had. The youth of a warrior to his maturity then the last fight which results in death. Beowulf wanted to be remembered and be told in stories that are passed on from generation to generation after his death. These story tellers relate to the Anglo Saxons time when they told stories about their great heroes.
Beowulf’s generosity leads him to the shores of Heorot after hearing the news of Grendel’s gruesome murders. Beowulf being the kind warrior that he is offers his help to king Hrothgar. Beowulf explains that “...news of Grendel, hard to ignore, reached me at home: sailors brought stories of the plight you suffer in this legendary hall, how it lies deserted, empty and useless once the evening light hides itself infer heaven’s dome. So every elder and experienced councilman among my people supported my resolve to come here to you King Hrothgar, because all knew of my awesome strength…” (pg. 29). Beowulf’s battle with Grendel not only symbolizing his strengths, courage, and bravery but also the youth of a warrior. Beowulf proved that he was young and strong enough to face Grendel with out any weapons. ...


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...lized death. Beowulf stood strong against the dragon while his men were “No help or backing was to be had then from his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop broke ranks and ran for their lives to the safety of the wood.” (pg.175). The event of the men backing out is the symbol for the Anglo Saxon’s fall of their culture. There was a hint of hope left when Wiglaf came to assist his king. The ending of Beowulf’s life can closely be related to the end of the Anglo Saxon’s era.
Beowulf symbolizes the Anglo Saxons and their culture and social values. Beowulf through out the poem was closely related to what the Anglo Saxons had believe and what they valued. The creature Beowulf battled was creatures from the myths of the Anglo Saxons. Beowulf represents the greatness of the Anglo Saxons era from their time of glory to the end where they fall to their enemies.

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