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They descended from the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. They valued courage, strength and desire for fame and glory and commitment to obtaining it similar to the ideals regarding fame and honor espoused by Homers Achilles.
The first value, courage, is constantly put to the test in the dark and dangerous world of Beowulf. This world was filled with monsters and obstacles to slay or overcome.
Beowulf himself is said to be the strongest man on earth at that time, and the way he wrestled Grendel almost effortlessly, while so many others had failed, proved that he had a kind of superhuman physical strength.
His desire for fame and his commitment to obtaining it was also very strong, he had an enormous amount of willpower and was determined to win himself a name. Even after he was famous throughout the known world for his deeds, he still was not yet satisfied. He battled the dragon, which was his greatest accomplishment, and proof of his courage and sheer heroism.
However, the Anglo-Saxon concept of selfishness was far less abstruse than our own. Their idea of generosity was helping friends and allies, especially in form of gifts for chivalric acts.
He did slay the dragon and Grendel partially because he wanted to protect the Danes and his own people from these two atrocities, but he was also motivated by a desire for glory. Beowulf himself was apathetic to the notion of death, he stated it many times throughout the poem, a fine example is his speech prior to fighting Grendel.
However, he is obsessed with his legacy and his name, which is more important than life itself to him and the other Anglo-Saxons.
Fame is part of building the noble family name and rank. Social mobility was fairly high among the warrior class in Beowulfs times, much like it was in the Roman legions.Lesley Webster on the life of the smith and his ambivalent status in Anglo-Saxon society.
Beowulf is an important epic because it shows many of the Anglo Saxon society's characteristics.
Beowulf is an epic that is important because it shows Anglo Saxon characteristics that include loyalty, personnel indebtedness, heroism, and fame. In the Anglo-Saxon culture, the epic poem “Beowulf” was a staple in the society, but by analyzing contents of this poem and Anglo-Saxon cultural values, it can be explained exactly why his story is used as a representation of culture.
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The Depiction of Anglo-Saxon Society in Beowulf The Old-English or Anglo-Saxon era extends from about to The Germanic tribes from the Continent who overran England in the fifth century, after the Roman withdrawal, brought with them a language that is the basis of modern English, a specific poetic tradition, and a relatively .
The Anglo-Saxon community in England was basically a rural one, where primarily all classes of society lived on the land. At the top of the social system was the royal house.