An analysis of the beowulf epic from the anglo saxon period

The epic begins with Beowulf, the king of the Geats, as he comes to the aid of the aging king of the Danes, Hrothgar. It follows the titular hero form this point through to his crowning as the leader of the Geats, and ends with his untimely death defending his people from a terrible dragon. Although the hubris of Beowulf is undoubtedly the most important aspect of the story, the progression of the epic relies heavily on the aspects of Germanic warrior culture in which the epic takes place.

An analysis of the beowulf epic from the anglo saxon period

This is no mere hanger-on in a hero's armour. These motifs characterize the people, culture, and the beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon time period.

The epic poem Beowulf is about a brave and undefeated hero who travels to another land to slay the beast which has been bothering the area for years. The poems The Seafarer and The Wanderer are slightly different. The Seafarer tells the story of a lonely traveler who has set out to sea in an effort to find his fate and something more than materialistic treasures in the world.

Similarly, in The Wanderer, the narrator sets out to sea to find his new life losing his Lord and his loved ones. All three Anglo-Saxon poems share the same motifs of journey, exile, and fate as the main characters of the poem go out alone to find their purpose in life.

Beowulf left his homeland for a new kingdom in his quest to prove himself.

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On a similar note, the narrator of The Seafarer describes his endless journey on sea where he realizes that the material attractions on Earth cannot compare to the sea. The journey motif is also evident in The Wanderer when the speaker journeys out at sea to find himself and his meaning in life after he had lost his lord, family, and friends.

Through the numerous references to travel and quests throughout these Anglo-Saxon poems, one can see that journey was important to the people of that time and had therefore become a key motif. Another key motif often expressed in literature of that time period would be the exile of the main characters away from the rest of their society.

In Beowulf, for example, Beowulf was a strong and mighty hero who was considered to be stronger and braver than the rest of his peers. This set him apart from the rest of his thanes and he became independent, fighting all of his battles in solidarity. In The Seafarer, the speaker chooses to set off by himself, hoping that through exile on the sea he will be able to find his true purpose in life.

The narrator in The Wanderer achieves his exile through self-outcast resulting from political loyalty. After his lord dies, the narrator grievingly sets out in hopes to find someone to replace the lord in his life. Through the poems, it is evident that Anglo-Saxon valued solidarity and isolation of heroes through exile.

This belief can be seen in Beowulf as the heroic Beowulf had been fated to beat Grendel and his mother yet lose in a battle with the dragon. Although he seemed to have made his choices all along, as the dragon in Grendel noted, he had no true control over his destiny and everything was simply meant to happen.

In The Seafarer, the narrator refers to God and accepts the idea that his fate might be a life out at sea. The narrator in The Wanderer feels fated to have lost his lord and now he is in search of something possibly better to replace the ones he lost.

Therefore, the mention of fate in the Anglo-Saxon poems promotes the idea the acceptance of fate leads to success.

In conclusion, the ideas of journey, exile, and fate were key beliefs in Anglo-Saxon times and were therefore often found in their literature. Heroes were often noted to go on journeys or quests in order to protect or honor their people.

An analysis of the beowulf epic from the anglo saxon period

Main characters in stories were usually seen isolated in exile, since they were portrayed as different from their peers in one way or another. These main ideas show the significance of such beliefs to the Anglo-Saxon people and how it shaped their culture.Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero - According to the definition, a hero is one who embodies the values of their society.

In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, the character Beowulf is used to convey the value that Anglo-Saxons placed on courage, strength, and loyalty. Anglo-Saxon literature (or Old English literature) encompasses literature written in Anglo-Saxon (Old English) during the year Anglo-Saxon period of Britain, from the mid-5th century to the Norman Conquest of These works include genres such as epic poetry, hagiography, sermons, Bible translations, legal works, chronicles, riddles, and others.

An analysis of the beowulf epic from the anglo saxon period

In all there are about surviving. Main Ideas. Here's where you'll find analysis about the book as a whole, from the major themes and ideas to analysis of style, tone, point of view, and more. English , British Literature: Anglo-Saxon through 18 th Century, is a survey of English literature from Anglo-Saxon times through the 18 th Century.

English , British Literature: 18 th Century to the Present, is a survey of English literature from the late 18 th Century to the present. The Anglo-Saxon time period literature shows great depictions of both good and evil.

The epic poem Beowulf is a very accurate description of the Anglo-Saxon’s beliefs in heroism and evil, describing Beowulf’s great acts of heroism against evil foes such as the monstrous Grendel.

Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic written in English. (Okay, it's in Old English, but you get the idea.) In fact, it's the oldest epic poem or story in any modern(ish) European language. life was tough for the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian peoples in the early Medieval period.

One indicator of this is lifespan: the average life expectancy.

Lesson The Pre-Anglo-Saxon Period