Beowulf – Anglo Saxon Culture
Beowulf’s Strength and Fearlessness Anglo-Saxon poetry reflects their culture and life. Poetry is a wide part of their lives, and many of them passed to the descendants through the word of mouth. From many poetry told, “Beowulf” would be a first class example of the Anglo-Saxon lives. “Beowulf” is a poem about a brave hero who hears tales of a fearsome beast that tore a kingdom apart. Beowulf, the main character, as a brave warrior, fights the beasts and saves the kingdom. Beowulf is fearless and strong.
These characteristics show the values of the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf was “the strongest of the Geats” and “greater and stronger than anyone anywhere is this world” (lines 110-111). This proves that Beowulf was stronger than any Anglo-Saxon men. Beowulf also realizes himself that he is strong too. He says, “He could never leave me behind, swim faster / Across the waves than I could…” (274-275). He says this to prove that he is strongest of all men, and that no one could beat him in anything.
The significances in Beowulf’s outstanding physical abilities reveal the value of strength in the Anglo-Saxon culture. Among the Danes and Geats, Beowulf is praised as the epic hero because he defeats the vile monsters, Grendel and his mom. Grendel and Beowulf would be total opposites of each other. Grendel is the demon who “snatched up thirty men, smashed them / Unknowing in their beds, and ran out with their bodies” (37-38). The people of Herot despised Grendel for his slaughtering. When Beowulf kills Grendel, Herot gains freedom from the demon.
That basically makes Herot love Beowulf for his good deed. Beowulf “struck with all the strength he had left, / Caught her in the neck and cut it through, / Broke bones and all. ” (641-643) and “then struck off / His head with a single blow. ” (663-665). The slaughter of Grendel and his mother saved Herot from its continuing of sorrowful deaths. Again, Beowulf’s value of incredible strength reveals the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf was fearless to all of his enemies and never lost a battle. He never forfeited any of them, and won victory every time fair and square.
When Beowulf first arrives in Herot, he is asked to leave all his weapons. Beowulf says, “My lord Higlac / Might think less of me if I let my sword / Go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid / Behind some broad linden shield: My hands / Alone shall fight for me, struggle for life / Against the monster. ” (170-175) Beowulf doesn’t want to look like a weak hero by taking all of his weapons, so he leaves his spears and battle-shields behind. He doesn’t want his king to think less of himself.
Beowulf emphasizes his fearlessness by leaving all of his weapons behind. The standout of Beowulf’s fearlessness shows an Anglo-Saxon characteristic. Beowulf also shows his fearlessness during the celebration after Grendel retreats with his arm cut off. Beowulf says, “When we crossed the sea, my comrades / And I, I already knew that all / My purpose was this: to win the good will / Of your people or die in battle, pressed / In Grendel’s fierce grip. Let me live in greatness / And courage, or here in this hall welcome / My death! (364-369) Beowulf says that he would rather die in Grendel’s hand if he could not defeat him. He does not fear to give up his life in a battle if he can’t win. This demonstrates that Beowulf is not fearful at all, even in front of death. Beowulf’s actions toward death show fearlessness, an Anglo-Saxon characteristic. From the poem “Beowulf”, the main character, Beowulf shows strength and fearlessness, the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon culture when he first arrives to Herot and when he defeats Grendel and his mother.