Honor In Beowulf Essay

Words: 602
Pages: 3

Honor as Hot as Steel and Vengeance as Cold as Ice Anglo-Saxon culture and societal norms differ tremendously between then and the present age. Burton Raffel beautifully translated one of the earliest written Old English Poems known as Beowulf. Beowulf is an epic poem written by an anonymous author set in the Anglo-Saxon age. Beowulf is known for its enticing tales of adventure, glorious battles, and its classic archetypes. The epic follows Beowulf, a great leader of his time, on his adventures and struggles to eliminate three greave threats. It transcends time to deliver a rich and detailed view on Anglo-Saxon culture and values. Honor was a prized and appreciated value to have by any person at this time. Beowulf does an outstanding job at showing why honor plays a key role in the cultivation and understanding of Anglo-Saxon virtues and beliefs through his actions and conversations in this epic poem. Beowulf shows the importance of honor in a savage and unforgiving atmosphere such as that of the Anglo-Saxon time period. Whether it be Beowulf physically defending his honor by fighting weaponless against Grendel or verbally defending it against Unferth, honor plays a key role in the definition of a Anglo-Saxon society. Beowulf physically defends his honor when he is pitted …show more content…
Honor embodied all other positive traits of that time—such as: bravery, courage, strength, might, willpower, and hope. This is why honor was so highly esteemed, because a man of honor was considered the best of the best. Therefore, Beowulf poetically reestablishes his honor in the King’s court with these words to Unferth. Beowulf points out Unferth’s inability to protect his own hall, therefore making him weaker, while exponentially uplifting Beowulf’s honor as a fighter and a speaker. Beowulf points out Unferth’s inability to do this, consequently shredding the honor he held so