Beowulf and the Warrior Society

Essay by anacondaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

download word file, 6 pages 2.0

Downloaded 33 times

Beowulf is a poem with stirring history. Its origin is the warrior-prince legend, which developed in Germany during prehistoric, pre-Christian times. The work is anonymous, but generally it is considered that it was composed by a monk, who was the only member of Anglo-Saxon society with a good level of literacy. We call him the Beowulf poet.

First of all this poem existed in Oral Tradition. The world imagined by Beowulf poet's listeners represents quasi-nomadic, heroic warriors. This age had already passed by the time Anglo-Saxons became permanent inhabitants in England. Throughout the story we see that the poet always expresses his attitude towards the warrior society.

A great part of the story illustrates the Germanic heroic code, which represents such values as courage, strength, and loyalty in warriors; kings' generosity, hospitality, and political skills; and good reputation in all the people. This code is much respected by warrior societies.

It is a tradition that helps to understand the relationships among people and the hidden threats. The characters make all their evaluations and judgments according to this code.

I think that poet in most cases admires warrior society, as its people possess such features of human character as honor, integrity, courage, loyalty, and other values. Narrator considers that such values as bravery and heroism are so important, that it is even possible to give one's life for them. I think that in many cases poet describes the traits that belong to the society of warriors and shows his attitude to that traits on the example of the main character of the poem - Beowulf - who is a perfect represenative of the warrior society. We see the evidence of that in the story, when the poet tells how Beowulf, realizing that he can lose his own life, is struggling...