Beowulf embodies Anglo-Saxon ideals of conduct — which included integrity and dignity — through his heroic monster-slayings, proving both his bravery and, as king in the final episode, his loyalty to his people. Some scholars have argued, however, that in sacrificing himself, Beowulf did a disservice to his people by leaving them without a king.Know More
Nevertheless, such heroic self-sacrifice is concordant with the Anglo-Saxon emphasis on warrior values. In any case, his eventual fate is widely interpreted as a matter of predestination rather than personal choice.
In his transition from warrior to king, Beowulf embodies the Anglo-Saxon ideals of courtesy and wisdom. Unlike Hrothulf, Beowulf does not seek the throne for himself, supporting instead the candidate he sees as most fit to rule.Learn more about Classics
The depictions of Anglo-Saxon culture in "Beowulf" include displays of strength, valor, honor and boastfulness of early epic traditions. Though many scholars believe that "Beowulf" was transcribed by a Christian monk, much of the pagan tradition that preceded Christianity was retained.Full Answer >
In the poem "Beowulf," Grendel's mother is described as a female monster and sea hag. She generally lacks humanity, but she does seek revenge for her son's death, which can be viewed as a distinctly human quality.Full Answer >
The poem "Beowulf" has a caesura in almost every line. In fact, because the caesura was one of the fundamental features of Old English poetry, almost all poems written in that language have numerous examples of caesurae.Full Answer >
The monsters in "Beowulf" are all broadly symbolic of the marginal outsider in society, something to be isolated and destroyed to maintain social order. However, each monster has its own specific significance, whether drawing on biblical or mythological symbolism.Full Answer >