Essay about Epic Poetry and Beowulf Pg

1075 Words Apr 30th, 2007 5 Pages
Epic poems have a unique set of characteristics that distinguish them from just an ordinary poem. An epic poem must contain a hero that is male, noble, and of importance to society who gives long formal speeches and travels over a vast setting. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the reader can see distinct Anglo-Saxon political, economic, and religious values in the actions of the characters and the things happening around them. Wealth in the Anglo-Saxon society, as seen in Beowulf, was used as a means of reparations, rewards, and political standings. One can also tell that the Anglo-Saxons where in a state of limbo between Christian and Pagan beliefs because of the ideas expressed by the hero and his colleagues in Beowulf. The political standings …show more content…
Not only does this tell us of the fear that Grendel imposes on the Danes, but it shows the reader that if one was to take the life of a man in this time period he was expected to pay the family as a way of "compensation". Later on in the epic, when are hero, Beowulf, is called on again by the Danes, he is promised "heaped-up ancient treasure" (Beowulf pg 46) as a reward for defeating Grendel's mother. Here the reader can see that Anglo-Saxon economy functioned by means reward giving in return for aiding a nation. As one can tell from Beowulf, leaders, in the Anglo-Saxon era, had certain things that where important to the success of their nation. The utmost importance for the leaders was the need to ensure the safety of their nation's people with the help of a courageous army and loyal companions. Beowulf is an exemplar of the ideal Anglo-Saxon leader. He was a courageous leader who feared nothing as he fought to protect his people. He fought honorably and fairly as demonstrated when he fought Grendel bare handed because Grendel himself used no weapons (Beowulf pg. 38). Beowulf also showed his love for his nation by defeating, all of their enemies: Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon. Religion in the Anglo-Saxon times consisted of a mixture of Pagan and Christian beliefs. Evidence of Christianity can be found throughout the poem. A few references to Christianity are: "the Almighty

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