The Heroic Code Of Beowulf By Seamus Heaney Essay

2007 Words Sep 21st, 2015 9 Pages
Being one of the longest and most appreciable surviving Anglo-Saxon poems, Beowulf embodies values that portray a great sense of heroism. Translator Seamus Heaney emphasizes the importance of these values throughout Beowulf. The heroic code is something of great value in this epic. Unlike the 21st century the Dark Ages revolved primarily around following this specific Germanic code. Courage, honor, and loyalty; Such values were greatly embraced and practiced by the Danes. This dedication showed the importance it had within each tribe. Robert Schmuhl expressed, “Heaney makes the Anglo-Saxon classic of heroism and moral nobility an accessible, contemporary page turner.” Courage was both physically and mentally portrayed in Beowulf all the way up until the end with a specific, intended purpose. From the beginning, courage had been introduced to show a sense of greatness within the main characters. This greatness is what helped to define the heroic code and the characters in the poem. Within the first three lines, courage is already being introduced. “So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by/ and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness”(Heaney ll. 1-2). These first three lines immediately introduce the idea of how the past kings had ruled. They ruled with courage and greatness, following the values in which they knew they needed portray. Courage and greatness are two values that also closely tie together with the heroic code. Beowulf, the Geatish hero was one the main…

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