Cultural Diversity in Nibelungenlied, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh
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Cultural Diversity in The Nibelungenlied, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh
Cultural diversity is something that mankind has experienced since the dawn of time. Different cultures and different people have different views on the same issues, and it all adds to the diversity that is life. It shows that there is something for everybody. For the most part, there is no one person saying that everyone has to be this or follow that. A person's culture is determined on how they are brought up, what country they live in, how their parents were raised, and what the people around them do and believe in. The differences in culture is what caused people of later time to believe in more that one God, something that, for the most part, is unheard of today. It lead to Feudalism and the divine right to the throne. Different people are brought up to think different things, and the things people learn as a child stick with them forever. Culture is also based on choice, and every person has the choice to do whatever makes them happy. So much is know about culture now because it has been recorded in books such as Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and The Nibelungenlied. Three different books displaying cultural views from three different time periods. And it is with works like these that modern scholars and historians can examine what the people and times were like back then.
Two books with a similar time period were those of The Nibelungenlied and Beowulf, both placed in 6th century Europe, one based in England and the other in Germany. Both cultures had a history of war, almost a passion for it. The English had no fear for what they might battle, and knew the consequences like every skilled knight should: "However great an army we take, the Queen has such dreadful ways that they would all have to die through her arrogance." (The Nigelungenlied, Ch. 6, pg. 54) But knights had to know the risk involved in being one of the best, and the sacrifices that needed to be made to put their country on top. And it has been shown that both cultures took pride in their work: "Then the king ordered eight gold-bridled horses to be led onto the floor, into the enclosure; on one of them was a saddle skillfully decorated, ornamented with jewels." (Beowulf, lines 1036-1038).
It can be seen in both Beowulf and The Niblungenlied that the quest for expansion of one's country is one of importance.