Medieval Society As Viewed Through "Beowulf" Book Review by GerardIPrudhomme

Medieval Society As Viewed Through "Beowulf"
A look at how the stories of "Beowulf" are reflective of medieval values and attitudes.
# 2028 | 2,080 words | 7 sources | 2000 | US
Published on Feb 16, 2003 in Ethnic Studies (Historical) , Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry)

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This paper looks at the stories of "Beowulf" as a parallel to the values and attitudes within Medieval society, namely, the penultimate values of martial prowess, heroic action, courage, material goods, religious devotion, and most of all, loyalty.

From the Paper:

"Medieval society was a violent one, necessitated by the constant warring between kingdoms. The nobility, created originally to defend those unable to defend themselves from the raiding tribes following the downfall of the Roman empire, prided themselves on their combat prowess and valued this above all else. We can find a parallel to the attitudes of Beowulf in the heroic age of Greece and the Homeric epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey in their emphasis on combat as proof of a man's worth and the preoccupation with violence in violent times. The Medieval period is one such era, characterized by the warfare and the heroes of the era, such as Beowulf. Beowulf would be the archetype, ideal warrior, especially in the exceptionally warlike Danish regions. These heroic tales give us a great deal of insight into the aspirations and ideas of those nobles and warriors, who would be the most likely readers of such tales."

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