Beowulf Anglo Saxon Hero Essay

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During the Anglo-Saxon Era, being a hero was very important, but being a hero who accomplishes both the notion of courageous fighting against an evil monster, and doing it with style makes him even more so.Byrhtnoth, the leader of his loyal veterans and local Anglo-Saxon troops, permitted a raiding Viking army to take up a position on land in preparation for battle.This resulted in both the heroic death of Byrhtnoth, and ultimately a valiant defeat for the English.We hear of Offa of Angeln, who ‘with one sword marked a boundary against the Myrgings at Fifeldor’, and of the Gothic king Eormanric, who gave Widsith a collar worth 600 coins of pure gold.But this praise was not only for the ancient world, and the Anglo-Saxons made use of the same poetic language, symbols and motifs to memorialise contemporary victories – and defeats.Beowulf is a perfect example of an Anglo-Saxon point of view on how much more important courage and honor are as compared to failure.In this quote, it is shown how determined he is to kill Grendel and gain valor."Of your people or die in battle, pressed/ In Grendel's fierce grip.Let me live in greatness/ And courage, or here in this hall welcome/ My death! Another prime example of Beowulf's courage is demonstrated shortly before he murders Grendel when he says, "Grendel is no braver, no stronger/Than I am! Grendel has killed countless soldiers in Herot for years, but Beowulf claims that not only can he kill him, but also he can do it without any weapons or armor.Here lies our leader entirely cut down our good leader upon the ground; may he always mourn who thinks to turn now from this battle-play.Together, these poems show the extent of what has been lost from the secular, heroic tradition of Old English poetry; those works that celebrated victory in war, deeds of courage, valiant boasts, bloody fighting and the winning of great treasures.


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