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Word Count: 720
It is commonly accepted that the Beowulf epic was from the Anglo-Saxon period It is so commonly accepted because of the strong evidence in the story Then because of all of these parallels that can be drawn it is safe to say that a reader who is unaware of Anglo-Saxon society cannot fully understand this epic That is why I plan to explain the basic principles of this society to better comprehend the epic at another level There is obviously very little reference to women in this story In class it was discussed that it may be due to the little importance of women during the time period However I have found that during the Anglo-Saxon period females were not of little significance They believed that in women there was an element of holiness and prophecy They even asked advice of their women It is also true that women were often arranged in marriage to keep peace This may seem insulting but isnt it a compliment to believe that a woman can turn anger into an armistice It is argued that perhaps women were mostly left out of the story because the poet chose instead to develop the meaning of male to male friendships This is supported by many works of the era while many of them centered around male characters The warriors in Beowulf did have wives and families but it is suggested that this was insignificant to the story The male friendships were highly valued at the time Beowulf was surrounded by noble warriors who would have protected him with their lives This sort of brotherhood is formed that is worth more than gold One of the biggest debates surrounding Beowulf is that of religion Did the poet intend for this to be a Christian based work While I will not be discussing the issue in depth there is one aspect of it that had been bothering me It is
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