Heroic Values In Beowulf

922 Words 4 Pages
The purpose of an epic poem is to glorify the culture and values of a civilization, and so the epic heroes display these values. In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist Beowulf is the hero who represents the values of the Anglo-Saxon culture. Epic heroes use these values to serve and protect their people, as Beowulf protects his people from various monsters. In order to do this, Beowulf must be humble enough to serve his people, and courageous enough to fight admirable threats such demonic creatures and dragons. Therefore, as shown by the character of Beowulf, courage and humility are two of the most important aspects of the Anglo-Saxon culture.
In Anglo-Saxon literature, heroes are the warriors of the society. Beowulf is a perfect
…show more content…
For example, Beowulf, during a quarrel with Unferth, a fellow Danish warrior, utters that, “Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked. However, it occurred, my sword had killed nine sea-monsters” (572-576). This statement further demonstrates how valuable in the Anglo-Saxon culture courage is. Beowulf is humble because he is resigned to his fate, but it is his favorable fate that allows him to be courageous. In other words, Beowulf does not believe his courage is a special quality that he has, but the result of his favor by God, which is affirming his humility. This is reflected in his discussion of his travels to …show more content…
However, Beowulf, out of humility, does not accept it and proceeds to return it to his lord Hygelac of the Geats. He tells his lord, “I am happy to present to you as gifts. It is still upon your grace that all favor depends. I have few kinsmen who are close, my king, except for your kind self” (2148-2151). Beowulf is also continuously referring to the loyalty of his lord, whom he could have risen above owing to his popularity. This action is also a great gesture of humility and kindness, epitomizing the qualities of the Anglo-Saxon hero. Not only is he strong, powerful, and courageous, Beowulf is also loyal and humble. Therefore, Beowulf presents quite a number of lessons to the contemporary social systems and leadership. He exemplifies Anglo-Saxon heroism through leadership, courage, and humility. Oftentimes, when people in positions of service only stay there for self-fulfilling gains and not with the purpose to serve the people of society. Beowulf however, gives the example of the perfect hero who is humble and exists for the good of the people despite his power or

Related Documents