Beowulf reflection of Anglo-Saxons
? English 11A 4th hour 21 October 2013 Beowulf’s Reflection of Anglo-Saxons Have you ever wondered what a true hero is or how they became a hero? Throughout this poem Beowulf reflects the culture of Anglo-Saxons by showing bravery, and loyalty, he shows the courage he has in battle, and his people pay tribute and glorify him. Beowulf shows he is a true hero in this poem by fighting to his tragic death in the end to save his people. Beowulf shows the true meaning of the Anglo-Saxons throughout this poem, he shows that he has defeated other horrible things and that he will have no mercy against Grendel.
He shows his people that he has the true characteristics if an epic hero. Beowulf shows bravery, and loyalty: …Now Grendel and I are called Together, and I’ve come. Grant me, then, Lord and protector of the noble place, A single request! I have come so far, …That this one favor you should not refuse me- That I, alone with the help of my men, May purge all evil from this hall. I have heard, Too, that the monster’s scorn of men Is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I. Beowulf 160-169, 44) By fighting Grendel and Grendel’s mother he showed great heroic qualities that describe an epic hero of the Anglo-Saxon times. He shows he has bravery and loyalty by fighting Grendel with no weapons and still saving his people. Throughout Beowulf’s story he shows in great detail the courage he has to fight for his poeple. He reflects these by his battles, he battles Grendel and rips his arm off and brings it back as sort of a prize to show he defeated the beast.
Then not long after he fights Grendel’s mother down in the cave by himself because all of his other men were to cowardly to help him until after they knew the fight was over. He told everyone before he went to battle that he would only fight the same as the beast (Grendel), with no armor or weapons, which shows great strength and courage on Beowulf’s part: …God must decide Who will be given to death’s cold grip. Grendel’s plan, I think, will be What is has been before, to invade this hall
And gorge his belly with our bodies. If he can, If he can. And think, if my time will have come, There’ll be nothing to mourn over, no corpse to prepare For its grave: (Beowulf 174-181, 44) Beowulf fights great battles for his people he survives some unharmed but in the end he dies a true hero and is truly loved and cherished. Before Beowulf died he had fought Grendel and brought back his arm and the people of his town hung it up on a wall like a prize or as a remembrance of when he defeated Grendel.
Then when Grendel’s mother took the arm off the wall and Beowulf went to battle again at the end of the battle he severs Grendel’s head and his men take it back to their town once again as a prize for defeating the beast. Beowulf experienced great fame and fortune before and after he died, his people loved him and showed in the end the way they would pay tribute and glorify the things he did to save his people: …Then the Geats built the tower, as Beowulf Had asked, strong and tall, […] they made his monument, Sealed his ashes in walls as straight And high as wise and willing hands
Could raise them. And the riches he and Wiglaf Had won from the dragon[…] –all The treasures they’d taken were left there, too, Silver and jewels buried in the sandy Ground, back in the earth, again And forever hidden and useless to men. And then twelve of the bravest Geats Rode their horses around the tower, Telling their sorrow, telling stories Of their dead king and his greatness, his glory, Praising him for his heroic deeds, for a life As noble as his name. (Beowulf 870-889, 66) Fulfilling the classic archetype, Beowulf eventually dies as a result of hubris – or excessive pride.
His men and people of the town then give significance and glorified him by making a monument of him and taking the jewels and treasures from the dragon’s cave and surrounding the monument with them in the dirt. The death of Beowulf is both sad and tragic but the way he dies is the way a true epic hero would die for his people. Beowulf showed every quality the Anglo-Saxons used to describe an epic hero and that is how he died in deed, an Epic Hero. Works Cited from Beowulf. Trans. Burton Raffel. British Literature. Evanston: McDougal Littell, 2008. 38-66 “The Origins of a Nation. ” British Literature. Evanston: McDougal Littell, 2008. 18-29