Beowulf’s Loyalty Epitomizes the Anglo-Saxon Culture

Best Essays
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that was set in Scandinavia and it consist of more than 3000 lines. It is known for being one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature and has no known author. There is also a computer-animated movie of the same name directed by Robert Zemeckis which with the cast of Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich and Angelina Jolie. The movie and epic were similar in a number of ways however the movie detracts from the original essence of the Anglo Saxon text. The major inconsistency between the film version and the text is the turning of the noble hero characters – Kings, into ignoble adulterers who have brought trouble to their own people by means of their own infidelity thus weakening major literary themes and the debasing the representations of the heroic Anglo Saxon Kings. The objective of this paper is to highlight the theme of loyalty with support from analyzing scenes especially the downfall of Beowulf, character analysis and the symbolism of the text.
Plot Summary:
King Hrothgar, the ruler of the Danes lives in riches with his loyal subjects however is troubled by the rampages of a monster they have given the moniker of Grendel. Every night, Grendel attacks the mead-hall, Heorot, killing Hrothgar’s men – the Danish warriors and sometimes even eating them. Hrothgar was a great warrior in his time, but as an old king, he is unable to protect his people. Fortunately, a young warrior named Beowulf from Geatland travels to Heorot Hall to lend a helping hand – literally. Beowulf offers to assist Hrothgar as he felt he owed the Danish King a favour due to the help his father received many years ago. Beowulf offers to fight Grendel himself and King Hrothgar gratefully ...

... middle of paper ...

...ed and joyful with life, in contrast to his outcast and miserable life.

Works Cited

Baldwin, S. P. & Elaine, S.S. (n.d.). CliffsNotes on Beowulf. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from
Emerson, O. (1921). Grendel’s Motive in Attacking Heorot. The Modern Language Review 16.2: 113-119. Web. 19 Oct. 2012.
Gardner, J. (1989). Grendel. New York: Vintage Books Edition.
Heaney, S. (2000). Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. W. W. Norton & Company.
LitCharts Editors (2007). LitChart on Beowulf. Retrieved December 2, 2013 from
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008). Beowulf. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from
SparkNotes Editors. (2003). SparkNote on Beowulf. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from
Get Access