Anglo Saxon Culture
Every community or organization has its own culture. Culture is a comprehensive set of beliefs, values, practices, and customs embraced by a particular community. Naturally, people assume cultural traditions and beliefs throughout a lifetime, whether directly or indirectly. Different cultures often have distinct figures that reflect their beliefs as a whole, and the culture of Anglo Saxon demonstrates a sense of uniqueness. According to Cory, the Anglo Saxon was a cultural group who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century(1). Although the culture of the Anglo-Saxon reflects various elements, one of the most significant aspects was loyalty, this is because it shaped the very community in which they lived in and bound them together.
Aspect of loyalty
Loyalty was one of the most critical cultural aspects that were unquestionably supported by the Anglo Saxon people. In the epic poem of Beowulf, there are many occasions where loyalty is evident among the inhabitants of Anglo Saxon. To begin with, Beowulf shows extreme loyalty to King Hygelac. The reflection of his loyalty towards the king is apparent in several instances. First, he proves adamant and loyal to king Hygelac by returning home despite the promise of great rewards when if he were to stay with Hrothgar after the battle with Grendel’s mother (Trekker 2). Secondly, Beowulf does not allow his heroic success to overpower his loyalty; therefore, he supports Hygelac’s son to succeed the king rather than promoting his claim. These events show that loyalty was an essential aspect of the Anglo Saxon culture that bounded the community together.
Furthermore, the aspect of loyalty prevails equally on the side of Grendel. Grendel; who is the villain in the epic tale and his mother were very loyal to each other just as a family. Their loyalty is evident after the murder of Grendel’s son, where her mother took havoc to Hrothgar’s people by killing Aeschere. According to Beowulf, “Grendel’s horrific mother, in anguish for her son, next attacks Herot, and her dripping claws she carries off one man; Hrothgar’s closest friend” (23). Her act shows she was loyal to Grendel a great deal.
Moreover, the aspect of loyalty in the Anglo Saxon culture is shown through the commitment of Beowulf to the Danes. Grendel; a hideous creature, was becoming a threat to both to Hrothgar’s people and the unity of the Danes by pillaging and killing people. As such, Hrothgar pled for help from Beowulf, and his reply was; ‘Heard how Grendel filled nights with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he’d go to that famous king would sail across the sea to Hrothgar” (Beowulf112). Therefore, due to the loyalty of Beowulf t to the Danes, he went to Hrothgar to overthrow Grendel.
What’s more, because of the ultimate loyalty of Beowulf to the alliance that Hrothgar and his uncle made. He decides to sail to the seas and write his story; When we crossed the sea, my comrades and I, I already knew that all my purpose was to this: win the goodwill of your people or die in battle, pressed in Grendel’s fierce grip. Let me live in greatness and courage, or here in this hall, welcome my death (Beowulf364). His act shows that loyalty is a cultural aspect of both the lives and tales of the Anglo Saxon.
For this, loyalty was a critical element Anglo Saxophone despite embracing of other aspects. The epic story; Beowulf, reflects various situations where loyalty prevails. Beowulf is loyal to Hygelac, Hrothgar, the Danes and the alliance between Hrothgar and his uncle. Also, loyalty prevails between Grendel and his mother. Therefore, loyalty as a cultural aspect is the cornerstone of a cohesive community. For a community to be peaceful and cohesive, loyalty is critical
Beowulf. Yale University Press, 2017.
Cory, Eleanor. “Bravery, Honor, and Loyalty as Morals in Beowulf.”Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy 12 (2010): 1-4.
Trekker. Hubpage. 4 Januray 2012. <https://hubpages.com/literature/Beowulf-reflecting-Anglo-saxon-culture>.
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