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Albert Gamez Ramirez

Ms. Figueroa

Senior English

7 December 2018

Anglo-Saxon Key Values

The Anglo-Saxons were the most dominant tribe to ever exist. The Anglo-Saxons were

people who inhabited Great Britain from the fifth century. They were a Germanic tribe who were

warriors that showed many values. In their epic poem, Beowulf, a warrior defeats evil creatures

and is loyal to his allies. Beowulf is not afraid of evil and he will fight any monster that gets in

his way. The Anglo Saxons were an established civilization of honor, loyalty and bravery.

The first Anglo-Saxon value portrayed in Beowulf is honor. Beowulf asks Hrothgar for

his permission to fight Grendel in his city. Beowulf states, “A single request! I have come so

far….. That I, alone and with the help of my men….May purge all evil from his hall” (Beowulf

162-167). This shows honor because Beowulf knew that it could potentially and put the king’s

title at risk. The Anglo-Saxons also showed value when Beowulf fought Grendel naked. He says,

“I have heard, too that the monsters scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears

none” (Beowulf 166-168). This shows that the Anglo-Saxons value respect towards everyone,

even enemies like Grendel. Beowulf shows honor in his interactions with Hrothgar and Grendel.

Beowulf is loyal towards his people. He will never turn down on his troops and allies and

he will fight the enemy no matter how big the enemy is. Beowulf says, “Hail Hrothgar! Name

has echoed in our land… that my duty was to go to the Danes great kings” (Beowulf 142-151).

Beowulf shows loyalty towards his allies’ town. He knows it is not his town, but still protects it.

Loyalty is also shown in the story when Wiglaf does not leave Beowulf behind fighting the
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dragon alone. Beowulf says, “and only on them remained, stood there, miserable, remembering,

as good man must, what kinship should mear his name was Wiglaf” (Beowulf 694-697). Wiglaf

shows loyalty to Beowulf by fighting the dragon with him at his most vulnerable point and

loyalty is a value that Wiglaf values. Wiglaf is loyal to his king and Beowulf. Wiglaf fights the

dragon with Beowulf and is brave fighting the dragon.

The Anglo-Saxons also value bravery. Beowulf is brave enough to go down to Grendel’s

mother’s lair to defeat the evil of Grendel’s mother. The poem states, “he leaped into the lake,

would not wait for anyone’s answer; the heaving water covered him over. For hours he sank

through the waves;” (Beowulf 450-452). This was brave because Beowulf did not know what the

monster looked like. She was powerful, strong, and evil and he did not know what to expect.

Beowulf shows bravery by fighting the dragon who is terrorizing his town. The author states, “a

fire-breathing dragon….terrorizing the Geats and Beowulf, now an old man, takes on the

challenge of fighting it” (Beowulf 58). Beowulf is old, but still willing to fight to protect his

people and his town. The Anglo-Saxons are brave warriors and they emphasize it in Beowulf.

Honor, loyalty and bravery are values that established the Anglo Saxons society. These

values were important to have because not upholding these values would make them a weak

nation. During the Anglo-Saxon’s time period, war was going on and land was taken away. Land

was being conquered easily and was ruled by different kings. Overall, the reader can learn that

Beowulf was a brave leader. Beowulf teaches readers to stay true to the qualities of a leader and

that will give them recognition of being a good king.


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Works Cited

Beowulf . McDougal Littell. 2000