Anglo Saxon Cultural Truths By Baltasar Gracian Essays
Anglo-Saxon Cultural Truths
Baltasar Gracian says: “Man is born a barbarian, and only raises himself above the beast by culture”. Cultural truths have always played an indispensable role since the dawn of human being; the Anglo-Saxon period is no exception. A popular Anglo Saxon poem – Beowulf – best represents these truths for its era. The poem recounts the life of Beowulf, who consistently remains loyal to his king and kinsmen and devotes his life to defend his people from monsters. A formidable and fearless warrior, Beowulf fights monster with his bare hands. Through the main characters of the story, especially Beowulf, the poem illustrates three important cultural truths of its time: courage in battle, loyalty to kinsmen, and gift-giving hospitality.
Firstly, combat zone bravery is often highly praised. The warrior is expected to fight fearlessly and perish in honor rather than to give in and survive in shame. Courage makes truly venerable warrior, establishing the foundation for the whole warrior culture. The more a warrior fights, the more respect and appreciation he earns. A warrior can only fight or be defeated by his enemies. The main character – Beowulf epitomizes courage. Beowulf always shows great bravery in every battle he fights: “I have heard moreover that the monster scorns/ in his reckless way to use weapons/ therefore, to heighten Hygelac’s fame/ and gladden his heart, I hereby renounce/ sword and the…