Beowulf Code Of Conduct Analysis

1142 Words 5 Pages
Adrian Salazar
Professor Nolan
Engl 2322

Code of Conduct
You ever wonder what determines what’s good and what’s bad within a culture? Look at who they look up and who is antagonized in a story that originates in that culture. A good example of that is the story of Beowulf, with the Anglo-Saxons.
Historically Beowulf is an anonymously told story from the Anglo-Saxon Culture. It’s an epic poem that revolves around and the life of a Geat warrior named Beowulf and his three major battles. Historically books didn’t exist during the time of the Anglo-Saxons so knowledge and history were usually passed through tradition taught orally. Now the inevitable outcome with creating a story is that we see a lot of the culture is passed on into it.
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Be an honorable warrior as well as trying to gain experience through achievement. The last thing we notice is the lineage of the hero and how he fulfills his fate.
Another aspect we see is how not to behave. Cowards are looked down upon in this epic poem, they are looked down upon since it is the opposite of braver. There are two instances in which this occurs in the story. The first being the case of Unferth since he tries to defame Beowulf’s name by bringing up a race in which Beowulf lost. The conflict was resolved when Beowulf brings up the facts that Unferth never accomplished much feats and only lost to Brecca due to him focusing on killing sea monsters while he swam. The second we see this is that Grendel is viewed as a monster by killing men in their sleep just as a coward would do. This action goes against the code of the era by fighting unfair. Beowulf’s culture seems to be very savage, but contains a code that they all follow. Grendel is called a monster, they mention his Greed and his actions of killing men while they slept. Using logic if the victors wrote the story they wrote Grendel off as an Antagonist right off the bat when he was introduced. Now the reason why they wrote him that way is to show that he as an individual broke the code of fighting with honor, and to show future generations who will read the epic how not to

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