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The Ideals of the Anglo-Saxon

The concepts and ideals of early medieval England reflected in its literature represent the unique combination of Christian and pre-Christian ideas. The latter can be divided into two groups: pagan beliefs and heroic-epic performances.

Pagan beliefs were hard eradicable because people at that time were closely linked to nature and completely dependent on it. During the conquests of the little-known lands inhabited by hostile tribes, ancient tales of heroes were particularly popular. Military heroic themes traditions maintained that the feasts and the war continued to be relevant for the Anglo-Saxon princes.

Devotion of a leader is manifested in giving treasures. Through the award, Lord increases his own fame and the glory of a vassal laying on him the obligation of further service. Giving an object – a horse, a ring or a weapon – becomes tangible reminder of the mutual responsibilities when it comes to war or vengeance. This is mentioned in the poem Beowulf. Distribution of the rings at the banquet was inseparable from the very nature of the royal power. The last word of Hrothgar to Beowulf before the battle with the monsters is the assurance in a generous reward. Upon returning home, their leader Beowulf gave horses, weapons and treasures, and in return received gold, honors and soil.

The devotion of retainer to the leader is shown in glorious exploits. The primary goal of the warrior according to Anglos-Saxon ideal is the acquisition of eternal glory, because only posthumous fame gives warrior a hope for eternal life. Therefore, the dying Beowulf expresses a desire to be buried in a high mound on a sea promontory, so that all seafarers could give him the posthumous honor. The desire for fame was considered one of the virtues.

However, death appears as a frequent companion of glory: the eternal glory is adjacent to the risk of lives.

Of course, the poem Beowulf is not an allegory, but the historical and artistic objective reproduction of lifestyle, customs, and beliefs of Germans in the 4th century.

The image of the world developed by the idea of the peoples of Northern Europe was largely dependent on their way of life. Pastoralists, hunters, fishermen, sailors, and farmers lived in an environment of severe nature poorly mastered by them, which their imagination easily inhabited with hostile forces. The center of their lives was isolated farmstead. Accordingly, the entire universe was modeled in the form of estates system.

The concepts and ideals of early medieval England reflected in its literature represent the unique combination of Christian and pre-Christian ideas. The latter can be divided into two groups: pagan beliefs and heroic-epic performances.

Pagan beliefs were hard eradicable because people at that time were closely linked to nature and completely dependent on it.

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Assignment ID
100001456
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CREATED ON
August 27, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 28, 2016
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$9
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Guang
December 9, 2016
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Good
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December 8, 2016
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December 8, 2016
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