Historical background[ edit ] Approximate central regions of tribes mentioned in Beowulf, with the location of the Angles in Angeln. The events in the poem take place over most of the sixth century, after the Anglo-Saxons had started migrating to England and before the beginning of the seventh century, a time when the Anglo-Saxons were either newly arrived or were still in close contact with their Germanic kinsmen in Northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. The poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins.
By understanding the qualities that make Beowulf a hero, you can then better understand how other Anglo-Saxon epic heroes, such as Fadlan of "The 13th Warrior" or even the warrior Christ in "The Dream of the Rood" fit into their respective worlds.
Appearance First and foremost, an epic hero must look the part. Greek heroes, like Hercules, were not merely mortals, but demigods, and the idea that a hero must be more than a man carries over into Anglo-Saxon epic poetry.
Beowulf is greeted by the first Dane who sees him with an acknowledgment of his awesome presence: In the seventh section, lines 8 to 10 of Beowulf, titled "Hrothgar and Beowulf," Hrothgar describes Beowulf as having the strength of 30 men: According to Christopher Garcia of Pace University, Beowulf and other epic heroes are capable of successfully challenging fate -- "which was thought to be unchangeable" -- because of adequate courage.
Beowulf himself speaks to this importance of courage when arguing with Unferth.
He says, ""Fate often saves an undoomed man when his courage is good. After he has defeated both Grendel and Grendel's mother, Beowulf turns down the Danish throne, and decides to return home without treasure.
He is described in the poem as "The mildest of men and the gentlest, kindest to his people, and most eager for fame. Thick Skin In addition to the other qualities possessed by one such as Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon hero must appear impervious to emotional sorrow or weakness.
Garcia claims that the Anglo-Saxon hero "had to be strong, brave, intelligent, and humble, but he must at all times keep his sorrows and fears to himself.
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.The Anglo Saxon Leader should be strong, wise, and generous. Beowulf, of course, as the Epic Hero, reflects all of these qualities. Beowulf is obviously superhumanly strong. Anglo-Saxon epic heroes, such as Beowulf, exhibit a series of attributes that separate them from the normal men and women who rely on them to liberate them from the oppression of monsters and other threats.
By understanding the qualities that make Beowulf a hero, you can then better understand how other Anglo-Saxon.
A hero of the Geats in Sweden, Beowulf renders aid to the King of the Danes, Hrothgar. Hrothgar's mead hall has been attacked by Grendel, a powerful monster, and his mother. Beowulf heroically slays Grendel and becomes the target of his mother.
Beowulf is a hero who embodies the ideal characteristics in the Anglo-Saxon culture; these characteristics all come together to make up an epic tale. He possesses the virtues, traits and beliefs that were respected in the Anglo-Saxon culture. In Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon hero is well defined by the actions of Beowulf.
It is obvious that Beowulf is the quintessential hero. His strength and courage are unparalleled, and he is much more humble (and honorable) than many of the corrupt warriors around him.
The Anglo-Saxon Heroic Code was the cornerstone of life for warriors living in the time depicted in the epic poem ''Beowulf''. The core values of the Heroic Code can be seen clearly in the poem.