Traits of Beowulf

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Beowulf embodies the ideals of conduct that are highly admired in the Anglo-Saxon culture. His characteristics, traits and ideology are viewed as worthy of imitation by the Anglo-Saxons. Beowulf is physically strong, fearless, religious, and is fiercely loyal to his king. In the Anglo-Saxon culture great strength was something that people envied. The warrior Beowulf is “the strongest of the Geats … stronger than anyone anywhere in this world…” Beowulf’s strength is obvious to Grendel during their battle. "That shepherd of evil, guardian of crime knew at once that nowhere on earth had he met a man whose hands were harder.” Beowulf does not show fear and goes out of his way to make sure his actions are not perceived as cowardly. “My lord Higlac/might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to go.” By defeating Grendel, using only his bare hands, Beowulf is embodying the personality characteristics that the Anglo-Saxon society valued in its warriors. Beowulf is a religious character. He is a good character who works for and with God to defeat evil creatures. “Now he (Grendel) discovered… what it meant/ to feud with Almighty God.” This quote shows Grendel, an evil monster, having to face judgment at the hand of Beowulf who represents God and the forces of good. Also without the help of God Beowulf would not have been able to defeat these evil beasts. “He’d have traveled to the bottom of the earth…and died there…and Holy/ God, who sent him victory, gave judgment/ For truth and right.” Beowulf’s complete and total faithfulness to his king is a virtue that is valued in the Anglo-Saxon culture. “My lord Higlac/ Might think less of me if I let my sword/ Go where my feet were afraid to.” Beowulf does not want to bring shame upon his country or king by not fighting fair. This total loyalty to king and country is a trait that the

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