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Beowulf´S Obligation To The Anglo Saxon Code

1006 words - 5 pages

Beowulf was a great and mighty warrior who was known for how amazingly awesome he was. He had fought and slain everything that came into his path. When there was heard of a great monster named Grendel who was terrorizing Hrothgar’s Mede hall, Beowulf made the trip to defeat the monster. When he arrived, king Hrothgar welcomed him and gave him permission to fight the monster, with one twist; Beowulf wanted to fight the monster without any armor or weapons. He fought the monster and killed him, keeping his arm as a trophy, which he hung in the mead hall for everyone to see. This is why we put cardboard cutouts in a trophy case. He went on to fight Grendel’s dam/mother/the witch (depending on the translation). After defeating this wicked monster, Beowulf returned home to the land of the Geats and 50 years later, he was the king in the land. At this time, there was a dragon on the loose and Beowulf was asked to fight it. This battle would be his last and a faithful man named Wiglaf would help him defeat the monster. Beowulf’s motivations to do these wonderful things were based on the Anglo-Saxon code.
A part of the Anglo-Saxon code is to honor your duty; Beowulf made the trip to Hrothgar’s Mede hall because he had a duty to do so. He was known all over as the greatest warrior, Hrothgar himself would even say, “Well may he say, whose judgment is just, recalling to memory men of the past, that this earl was born of a better stock! Your fame, friend Beowulf, is blazoned abroad over all wide ways, and to every people. In manful fashion have you showed your strength, your might and wisdom. My word I will keep, the plighted friendship we formerly pledged. Long shall you stand as a stay to your people…” (Lines 1160-1168) Beowulf believed it was his duty to come fight the monster because people expected him to and he would let them down if he didn’t.
Once Beowulf had defeated Grendel, he had to defeat his mother/dam/the witch; since he had already defeated one monster, people would be disappointed and talk badly about him if he didn’t defeat the second monster as well. For this battle, Beowulf put on all his armor because he was afraid that this monster could defeat him. Before he leaves, Beowulf reassures king Hrothgar by saying, “Sorrow not, brave one! Better for man to avenge a friend than much to mourn. All men must die; let him who may win glory ere death. That guerdon is best for the noble man when his mane survives him. Then let us rise up, o ward of the realm, and haste us forth to behold the track of Grendel’s dam. And I give you pledge she shall not in safety escape to...

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