Beowulf was the ideal example of what a great king should be according to the Germanic people. Throughout the poem, Beowulf exhibited qualities of courage, generosity, and loyalty all of which were important to the Germanic people for their warriors and kings to possess. The Germanic people expected their kings to show exceptional courage, and Beowulf met this expectation by the great feats he accomplished throughout the poem. At the beginning of the poem Beowulf traveled across the ocean to defeat the monster Grendel. Grendel was a monster who wreaked havoc on king of the Danes, Hrothgar’s kingdom, and his great mead hall.
Beowulf is meant to represent the ideal warrior and king. As such, readers can infer that the Anglo-Saxons held his character traits in high esteem. As depicted in Seamus Haney’s translation of Beowulf, Beowulf’s strength, loyalty, and acceptance of fate are traits that were admired by his society. The time of the Anglo-Saxons was rife with tribal warfare. This meant that men had to be strong fighters capable of protecting and avenging their people.
But the thanes have their obligations too. (A thane is a warrior who has been rewarded by his king with a gift of land.) They must show undivided loyalty to their lord. Only in this way can the society survive, because the world depicted in Beowulf is a ruthless and dangerous one. The warriors must be prepared for battle at all times.
These warriors fought for their leader and tribe in return for treasure and protection. This relationship between the lord and his men was the basis of the Anglo-Saxon society. The epic poem "Beowulf" is a perfect example of how this system worked in these trying times. The warrior in the Anglo-Saxon civilization had many duties to fulfill. He was obligated to respect and protect his lord as well as defend his lord's honor.
Among the warriors portrayed in the poem, Beowulf rises as the most heroic. Beowulf is considered a "hero" of the story because he does everything he can for his people. He also fought off Grendel and stopped the monster from killing anymore of Hrothgar’s men. In doing so it showed
This shows that his choice of the heroic life has implications not only for himself, but for his kingdom as well. Heroic code in Beowulf’s battles Even before the hero’s appearance, the narrator already establishes the strong heroic code that dictates honorable conduct in Scandinavian kingdoms. This is depicted in the court of Hrothgar, ruler of the Scyldings. Early in the poem, the narrator shows how rulers like Hrothgar were very dependent on the allegia... ... middle of paper ... ...hane origins and his present status as ruler. However, throughout the epic poem, Beowulf upholds the code of conduct demanded both in battle and, for the most part, in his duties to his adherents.
Streissguth, Thomas, “Life Among the Vikings”, Lucent Books, Inc, ©1999, page 27 Bibliography 1. Done by Committee. Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language. New York, NY; Random House Value Publishing, Inc, ©1996. 2.
The first few lines of Beowulf immediately use the act of courage as the definitive form of greatness. The Danes will be celebrated because of their bravery and heroism before anything else. When Grendel attacks the Danes, their land is described as desolate, after being pillaged; “So Grendel ruled in defiance of right, one against all, until the greatest house in the wo... ... middle of paper ... ...Beowulf will forever be remembered. Beowulf, who initially is a prideful, young hero, matures into a respected king who shows respect and loyalty to his people. Before Beowulf reigns as king, there are important characteristics that he exemplifies that lead one to believe his true nobility and future as a renowned King of the Geats.
The four codes that a warrior lives by are "always to be the best and bravest and to be distinguished above others. To stand fast and firmly while in battle. To be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. And the final code is to help one's friends, while harming one's enemy." The stereotypical warrior would be with prestige, which he must defend.
Another trait of the Anglo-Saxon culture is loyalty to a leader. Which is a trait that is still shown today all throughout the world. For example, in the epic poem Beowulf the Geats show their loyalty to their leader when: “Beowulf is fighting with Grendel the Geats have their swords ready” (353-356). With the Geats being ready for the battle if their leader fails shows that they are loyal enough