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Word Count: 562
The Anglo-Saxons set the foundations on which the English nation developed In spite of continual internal warfare they built upon those foundations and developed a high degree of civilization In Beowulf Burton Raffel portrays many aspects of Anglo-Saxon lifestyle especially the importance of weaponry womens role in society and the significance of ChristianityThere was not a single object that mattered to Anglo-Saxons more than their weapons The Anglo-Saxons delighted in beautiful weapons Crossley-Holland 19 They associated usefulness with beauty Anglo-Saxons decorated their swords with ornamental patterning These warlike people considered the sword to be the king of weapons Crossley-Holland 20 The gift of a sword was a symbol of the bond between a lord and his follower Warriors remained prepared behind their high shield Raffel 35 Shields were the most common forms of defense They decorated the shields as well which declared the wealth of its owner It was an Anglo-Saxon warriors practice to be ready for battle incessantlyWomen had a well-defined role in Anglo-Saxon society A thanes wife had responsibilities that she fulfilled on a daily basis Her primary chores consisted of looking after the family and supervising the household Other duties included overseeing the brewing of ale and managing the weaving and dyeing of clothing for her family She had a public persona such as when Welthow went from warrior to warrior pouring a portion from the jeweled cup for each Raffel 24 Presumably a thanes wife was the mistress of ceremonies in the mead halls Women also had their own rights that were quite independent of their husbands Crossley-Holland 68 A woman had the right to own land defend herself in court to inherit money and use it at her own discretion The role of women in that time period was truly extraordinaryChristianity was also an aspect of Anglo-Saxon life along with the old pagan beliefs Old English literature shows that the glories of Christ are great but fate is the strongest
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