Beowulf Summary Essay

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Beowulf Summary/Essay

Beowulf is the title of a heroic epic poem originally written in Old English. It is known as one of the most important pieces in Anglo-Saxon culture. The main protagonist, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose great hall, Heorot, is constantly under attack by the monster Grendel. Beowulf is considered an epic poem because the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against very powerful monsters and beasts. Many aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture would not be accepted and frowned upon in America’s modern culture. While Anglo-Saxon’s tended to be more violent, and value honor, bravery, and pride, we honor things such as being honest, academic success, and other less-violent things. Some things that would not play well to an audience of modern American’s are things such as the fact that death was not honorary and was disgraceful unless you died in battle, women are extremely downplayed, the level of bloodshed and violence, and the fact that it was considered disgraceful to not avenge the death of a family member by “killing back”. There are many reasons why any of these things would not be accepted in today’s American culture. The first example is that you are not expected to die a certain way for honor and dignity in today’s culture. If you did not die while in battle, in the Anglo-Saxon culture, you would be considered dishonorable. They were known as fierce warriors who lived to die in battle, and honor played a big part in this. It would not be acceptable to expect a person to die a certain way in order to be honorable and dignified. In today’s American culture, we look more at what a person does while alive in order to consider them an honorable person, not how their life came to an end. Another aspect that would not be accepted in today’s American culture is the way Anglo-Saxon women...