Beowulf: How Loyalty and Duty Reflects the Anglo Saxon Values

Categories: Beowulf

The Anglo-Saxons are a sub-tribe among the main Germanic tribes who had invaded England. They had their own culture, language, and values. Amidst them, they had a legendary and heroic warrior by the name Beowulf who was regarded as Superman during that Anglo-Saxon period (Duzbabová 7). Those who were termed to be as heroes displayed characters such as fearlessness, boldness, ability to show courage and be indifferent to pain. On top of that Beowulf displayed confidence and faith in skills and his role as a warrior also contributed to his status as a hero in society.

He demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon values for the thirst for revenge, courage by fighting many battles, physical strength among others (Kunch 28). From a young age, Beowulf believed that a real warrior would need to be Loyal, strong and courageous so that he may be able to defend his lord.

Loyalty and duty as depicted by Beowulf in the text and reflects the Anglo-Saxon values.

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To begin with, this behavior is one of the Anglo-Saxon values. Being loyal and brave to one’s lord is taken as one of the essential parts of becoming a good warrior and heroin in accordance with the Anglo-Saxon culture. An ideal example is when the warriors showed no recognition for the riches regarding the protection of the mead hall that Beowulf offered them. They left him to die.

Moreover, Beowulf is loyal to his load in the text and sacrifices himself to protect the kingdom. These reflect the Anglo-Saxon values as the kind that embodies the Anglo-Saxon code of ethics and conduct and loyalty to something that is beyond oneself regardless of the consequences.

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For instance in the poem Beowulf seats in a boat with his men and in his thinking he was determined to perform to his best whatever the circumstances put in front of him. They want to ‘meet my death’ or “fulfill that purpose’ was the paradigm that Beowulf used when approaching his consciousness (Hall 69).

Also, this human behavior reflects the Anglo Saxon values as dictatorial and unwavering as we can see that every warrior was supposed to show loyalty to their load and did not compromise. For instance most of the time Beowulf was devoted to illustrating and articulating what was known as the Germanic heroic code that valued loyalty, strength, and courage in warriors; generosity, hospitality and political skill in Kings; good reputation among the general population and ceremoniousness in women.

Also, the loyalty and duty show that the Anglo Saxon people were committed to their mission and commitment no matter the circumstances. These can also be said about the other values depicted by Beowulf such as bravery, honor among others. For instance, when Beowulf poses a challenge to Grendel for a hand to hand combat, he utilizes the Anglo-Saxon value of power and strength to engage fight that can extract life out of an individual since he does not want to use any other way to remove the monster that has threatened to maintain the social order. Beowulf’s physical strength is demonstrated when Grendel tries to sneak behind him. Then Grendel discovers himself in a hand grip that was harder than anything he had encountered. This signifies Beowulf’s extraordinary will and strength which encouraged both Geats and Danes.

In conclusion, Beowulf’s deeds of killing monsters to having a moral life show that he is a hero indeed. He is an ideal hero among the Anglo-Saxon population. However, in today’s world, the hero’s differ slightly from Beowulf’s generation. Loyalty and duty are shown in the way Beowulf’s chooses to sacrifice himself for the kingdom.

Works Cited

  1. Duzbabová, Lucie. “Faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies English Language and Literature and Teaching English Language and Literature for Secondary Schools Teaching Speaking Skills Master ‟ S Diploma Thesis.” Masaryk University Faculty of Arts, 2011.
  2. Hall, Lesslie. J. Beowulf: An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem. no. May, 2005, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.04.070.
  3. Kunch, Warren Anthony. ANGLO-SAXON IiLTcO , 1968.

Cite this page

Beowulf: How Loyalty and Duty Reflects the Anglo Saxon Values. (2021, Mar 25). Retrieved from

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