Coursework Sample: Morals and Culture of the Germanic Tribes in the Poem Beowulf

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Harvey Mudd College
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The poem Beowulf was composed in England, and it historically records the culture and values of a past era. A significant number of those values like heroic code was still in use to some extent during that time when the poem was composed. The values had gradually developed in the arising centuries and were persistently changing. During the Scandinavian world of the story, small tribes had kings who safeguarded their communities from danger mainly from disputes from other tribes.The culture of warrior that arises from the prehistoric feudal disposition is very significant to the comprehension of Saxon civilization. Powerful kings dictated courageous and devoted warriors who they in turn rewarded with treasures received after winning wars. The paper aims to discuss the manner in which Beowulf represents the morals, values, and cultural ideals of the Germanic tribes. Some of the ways that values and cultural ideals are expressed are in the form of oral traditions, monsters, the mead-halls as well as various symbols.

Beowulf has made use of monsters to represent morals, values and cultural ideas within the culture of German tribe. According to the medieval Christian, the word monster was used to imply congenital disabilities that were evil sign things in the present. In the same way, Beowulf ought to fight aliens that are in the society that must be driven away for the communities to be safe. All the three monsters in Beowulf appear to have an allegorical or symbolic meaning. For example, Grendel is seen to represent the wicked of murdering people in the society of Scandinavian

As ritual actions and loyalty are essential to the pagan culture of German, Beowulf has made use of symbolic objects to represent morals, values and cultural ideals in the poem. For instance the use of the golden torque which is the collar given to Beowulf by Wealhtheow represents a sign of loyalty between Beowulf and her people. Shortly after Grendel is defeated, the great banquet at Heorot during that time represents the reinstatement of order and harmony to the communities in Danish. The planning includes reconstruction of the impaired mead-hall, which in collaboration with the banquet itself represents the revival of the community.

The poem features the areas of pressure by describing circumstances that uncover its internal disagreements in values. As such, the poem encompasses some short stories that involve separated loyalties a situation in which the code provides no empirical direction about acceptable behavior. For instance, the writer relates that the Danish Hildeburh weds the Frisian king. During the war between the Danes and the Frisians, both her Danish sibling and her Frisian child are murdered, Hildeburh is left doubly lamented. The code is additionally in most cases in conflict with the values and beliefs of medieval Christianity. As the system holds that honor is gained through one's actions, Christianity states that glory is only found in the afterlife. In the same way, the culture warrior prescribes that it is always preferable to counterattack over to grieve. However, Christian principle advocates a peaceful, lenient state of mind toward one's foes. All through the poem, the poet tries to suit the two sets of values. Despite the fact that the writer is Christian, he has been able to bring out the basic values of the story that are based on pagan belief.

Confidentially associated with the theme of the significance of creating one's identity is the oral tradition that conserves past lineage and education as well as assists in spreading reputation. Certainly a culture without communication with writing, the spoken word enhances people to assimilate other peoples culture while marketing their own stories. The significance of oral communication describes the pervasiveness of bards' stories like the Horoscopes involving the Finnsburg scene as well as bragging of the warriors. From a general point of view, Beowulf itself contributes knowledge to the custom of the oral celebration of cultural warriors. In the same way that Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were passed down, Beowulf was too passed down through oral tradition after several years of being composed.

The poem includes two cases of mead-halls: Hrothgar's incredible hall in Denmark, and Hygelac's hall in Geatland. The two halls operate as significant cultural organizations that offer foods and drinks as well warmth and light singing and entertainment. Verifiably, the mead-hall depicted a place of refuge for warriors coming back from the war, a little zone of shelter within a dangerous and unsafe external world that constantly provided the risk of attack by neighboring communities. Additionally, the mead-hall acted as the center of the community were, where traditions and conventions were conserved. In the same place, loyalty was preserved, and most likely the most significant tales were told.


Morals, values and custom ideas have been expressed through various aspects in Beowulf. As seen in the poem Beowulf is dedicated to express and describe the Germanic heroic code, which holds with high regard loyalty, strength and courage in warriors. According to the poem, kings are regarded to be generous, hospitable and possess political skills. Women are ceremonial, and the entire community can be said to be of high repute. The code is critical to warrior communities as a mode of understanding their relationships.


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