The Epic Of Beowulf Essay

1101 Words Oct 28th, 2015 5 Pages
Dorothy L. Sayers once said, “Death seems to provide the minds of the Anglo-Saxon race with a greater fund of amusement than any other single subject”. The epic of Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, describes one of the most well known heroisms from Anglo-Saxon literature—Beowulf’s heroic journey. In the poem, Beowulf fulfills his heroic journey by having three increasingly tough battles with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon respectively. Beowulf’s victory in these battles establishes him totally as a hero and validates his bravery and power, which proves that heroes are, firstly, defined by action and strength. However, not only is Beowulf showing his heroism by his power, he also perfectly conforms the Germanic heroic code from Anglo-Saxon culture. The culture truths are vital to a warrior society as an assessment to judge individuals’ behavior, as follows the code or violates it. Among all the Anglo-Saxon culture truth, loyalty, gift-giving, and courage in battle play a significant role in the epic of Beowulf, which influenced Beowulf’s heroic journey and every character’s behavior in the poem. As a warrior society, being loyal to lords is the guiding faith in the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf’s loyalty to his king shows in numerous aspects throughout the poem, especially after the death of Hygelac, “Yet there was no way the weakened nation /could get Beowulf to give in and agree to be elevated over Heardred /as his lord or to undertake the office of…

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