The epic poem Beowulf is the longest epic poem from the Anglo-Saxon period. In the Anglo-Saxon time its citizens required a functioning and intact society that depended on principles that were designed to create order out of Europe’s violent and unsophisticated past. Some of the principles that they depended on were loyalty, generosity, and courage, which were believed to promote a sense of community. The medieval epic poem “Beowulf” represents these principles and eulogizes the admired characters through the epic poem of the warrior-king. Warrior values are what inspired the Anglo-Saxon society and like in many Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that existed under the fearsome shadow of invasion and the oppression by foreign enemies, the kingdom of Herot suffered many relentless and gruesome attacks by the monster named Grendel.
The Anglo-Saxons were warrior people and their heroes were often depicted to be from a war variety. In the epic poem Beowulf demonstrates many instances of heroism, especially during his battles and defeats of three monsters: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. Beowulf values his bravery over any other single trait; he demonstrates bravery as a belief of his. “‘Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked’ ” (Beowulf 572-573). With this statement Beowulf is saying that his bravery may save the life of a man that is not already marked for death. By Beowulf saying this it reveals that the Anglo-Saxons greatly valued bravery, believing that bravery is able enough to spare the life of the man who displays it.
Being an Anglo-Saxon warrior was a gratifying life because warriors got fame, glory, recognition, and treasure. Beowulf demonstrates that he was selfless because he jeopardized his life to help other people in need. When Beowulf was going to fight Grendel he told Hrothgar that he was not there for the money, he had his own and he was the son of the famous soldier Edgetho. Beowulf tells Hrothgar all of his battles that he had fought, he said that he has fought five great giants and he had killed a sea of sea monsters one by one. He tells Hrothgar to let him reside in the mead hall, and he said that only God will be able to decide who will get the cold grip of death. “‘and if death does take me, send the hammered/ Mail of my armor to Higlac, return’” lines 452-453.
This single-handedly shows great bravery, selflessness, and loyalty that Beowulf possesses. Continuing on, Beowulf is a poem about a great leader and warrior. Not only did you need to be strong to be a warrior but you also need courage. “fate often saves undoomed man when courage is good”- Beowulf. By Beowulf sating this he is saying that just because a person is strong and confident doesn’t always mean that they are always going to win. They believed that death was a great honor; warriors are willing to die to get glory, and that they must show courage even when the odds are slim to none.