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Word Count: 726
Beowulf reflects the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic values present up to the eleventh century Even though it was written in the eleventh century because it was an oral tradition many of the beliefs and values could have been present at the time of writing along with in centuries past Beowulf emphasizes the medieval ideals of loyalty selfness fame and honor with an emphasis on using these values in battle Fame in this culture could only be attained through proven worth on the battlefield Hrothgar gained respect as a king not through heredity but through his worth in battle as shown in this line Such success in arms and so great a fame attended Hrothgar that his kinsman were eager to serve under him Beowulf Ch 1 40-82 Fame in battle did not assure someone an after life according to the church but it did ensure that a heros name would live on after his death as shown by Beowulf We must all expect an end to life in this world let him who can win fame before death because that is a dead mans best memorial Beowulf Ch 21 1383-1425 Becoming a famous warrior was perhaps the most important value in this time because it required both winning battles and displaying the other values of the culture A code of honor in life and in battle was also very important in this culture A curse made it so swords could not harm Grendel and Grendel did not use swords Beowulf decided to fight him without a weapon not because he knew of this curse but because his honor prevented him from arming himself against an unarmed opponent I do not consider myself to be a fighter inferior in either strength or in experience to Grendel himself so I shall not kill him with a sword Although I could do it in that way that is not how I propose to rid him of his life Beowulf
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