Anglo Saxon Culture as Reflected in Beowulf Essay examples

952 Words Apr 13th, 2011 4 Pages
Anglo Saxon Culture as reflected in Beowulf Every culture has its own set of beliefs values and customs. Cultural beliefs, values, and assumptions are directly and indirectly acquired throughout a lifetime. A culture is the sum of a group’s way of life and this is no different with the ancient Anglo Saxon culture. Cultures usually have distinct figures that reflect their culture as a whole. The importance of religion, values, and heroes are reflected a great deal in the epic poem of Beowulf accurately showing the Anglo Saxon culture as a whole. Men dominated the Anglo Saxon society and the people loved a great hero like that of Beowulf. They believed a hero should be a keeper of his promises, be boastful and produce …show more content…
Paganism seemed to be the religion of choice for many Anglo- Saxon warriors while Christianity did not evolve as quick in warriors (“Saxons Culture”). Margaret E. Goldsmith who wrote “The Christian Theme of Beowulf” exclaimed the teaching of St. Augustine and St. Gregory are incorporated in Hrothgar’s sermon. Goldsmith said Beowulf was sort of a Christian historical novel, with selected bits of paganism purposely laid on as “local color” such as the references to fate or Wyrd (Bloom 127). All considered Beowulf shows religion, expresses values of everyday life and explains what a true hero in all about in Anglo Saxon times. The Anglo Saxons express their cultures through wonderful literature such as Beowulf, which is a record of heroic deeds. The Anglo Saxon society believes in great men such as Beowulf that have good morals and exemplify devotion to their country. Beowulf derives its main plot from folk tales; and as W.P. Ker has said, “ it is difficult to give individuality or epic dignity to commonplaces of this sort (Bloom 14). The author of Beowulf recognized the obligation of giving his hero emotional and ethical value through association with events the Anglo Saxon people would recognize as hero-like. It was not enough that Beowulf should display unequaled strength and courage in his victories over gargantuan monsters but the value of these exploits must be enhanced by Beowulf’s deep and emotionally justified concern for

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