A good king or warrior also pays wergild, the price a warrior pays to the family of a slain warrior. When Beowulf is first introduced in the poem, he is repaying a wergild that Hrothgar payed on his father, Ecgtheow’s, behalf. Beowulf possesses all of the qualities of a good warrior of this time period; he has a reputation for being strong and brave, and he is generous and loyal. He fights to avenge wrong doings, and he is better at it than anyone else. In this
Anglo-Saxon society judges its individual’s behavior on specific values and morals. This society focuses on a strong sense of community and it treasures fame. The values of the Anglo-Saxon society are embodied by the brave, fearless and exemplary soldier, Beowulf. Beowulf is the protagonist in the epic poem, Beowulf. This character is brought upon conflicts and challenges by inhuman creatures that threaten his existence and the perseverance of his culture.
This essay will compare and contrast the portrayal and warfare in four of the poems studied. The first world war was portrayed as a glorious and credible cause, fighting war for your country was deemed as the duty of any credible man. Being able to represent your country on the battlefield was the greatest honour a man could have. Men were engulfed with the idea of being able to fight for their countries futures. Women would have to do everything they could to stop their husbands and sons from risking their lives by signing up for the war.
The good warriors show loyalty to their “ring-givers” and will often stand by their side in the face of battle. However, others show their fear. All in all, loyalty, honor, and generosity are what sets everyone apart from evil and are most important in the culture of Beowulf. You will see these traits in a good King as well. A good King would be someone who gives his thanes treasure for their efforts in battle.
From the very beginning of the play there are allusions to what he ideal man is supposed to be like. In the first scene, Macbeth is characterized as the quintessential man. He is strong and courageous and battle, a characteristic that is seen by many to be ideal. He fights for his country and the love of his king. “For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—/ Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel/ Which smoked with bloody execution/ Like valor’s minion carved out his passage” (I, i, 16-19).
This certainly characterizes Beowulf throughout the whole poem. In stanza 4, line 165, Beowulf states; “That I, alone and with the help of my men, May purge all evil from this hall. I have heard, too, that the monster's scorn of men, is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I. My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: My hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster.” In this quote Beowulf is trying to convince the King of the Danes to let him defeat the monster Grendel.
During his journey he fights three monsters; Grendel, Grendels mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. Beowulf was a powerful warrior during his younger life and an intelligent king during his older years. In the poem the author mentions many Anglo-Saxon ideals. Anglo- Saxons valued courage, believed in many courageous aspects of life and Beowulf demonstrates all of the qualities of a courageous, powerful, and a never forgotten warrior. In the epic poem, the Anglo-Saxons value strength as a characteristic of a superior and great warrior.
It displays cultural ties between these early Anglo-Saxon periods; when glory in battle was of the up-most respect. From my interpretation, Beowulf is a poem on how one achieves ultimate glory through battle and reputation that appeals to most young warriors during the time known as geoguo. Beowulf comes to the aid of Hrothgar despite the infamous reputation of Grendel. Hrothgar knows Beowulf from his father and the rumour that he has great strength. However, these rumours gave him no real reputation and he would have to prove his accolades in his battle with Grendel.
Passion Vs. Pride In The Iliad Achilles is motivated by pride, however in Troy he is propelled by passion. Greeks placed great importance on honor and in The Mortal Hero it is said “Honor to the Greeks is something that is won by a man’s prowess, his ability to fight and be victorious on the battle field” (Schein 62). In The Iliad Achilles is motivated by glory, he would rather die young and achieve glory by going into war. He believes his reputation is all that counts because he is a warrior and the best of the warriors.
As the audience, we can see how Macbeth's character turns from good to evil, from a "valiant cousin" and "worthy gentleman" to a "bloody butcher" and a “tyrant” which leads him down the path of self-destruction. The change in Macbeth’s character helps to illustrate the themes of natural order and vaulting ambition that are integral to the play. Macbeth finally realizes towards the end of the play the consequences of vaulting ambition. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is known as a "noble" and "valiant" soldier who is well valued. He respected the King and proved to be brave in battles as the Captain described him, "…Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops and fixed his head upon out battlements” in Act 1, Scene 1 (lines 10 – 20) He was also well admired by King Duncan who defined Macbeth as ‘O valiant cousin!