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Beowulf And Hrothgar: Anglo-Saxon Ideal Code Of Conduct

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Poetry & Poets

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The epic poem of 'Beowulf' presents the characteristics of two
heroes, Beowulf and Hrothgar. During this Anglo-Saxon time period,
Hrothgar rules as the king of his Danish lands. However, this king faces
many problems due to the disturbances of a monster known as Grendel. As an
Anglo-Saxon warrior of the time, Beowulf hears of this creature and
journeys through the hero's path to kill Grendel. Through this journey,
Hrothgar and Beowulf reconstruct the code of conduct of an ideal Anglo-
Saxon king and warrior.
The Danish lands of the time are ruled by Hrothgar, a respected and
generous king. These qualities of character were admired by the people of
his time and place. All people of Hrothgar's kingdom respected this king,
and they all accepted his 'very word far and wide as a command.' The
people also give him great titles such as the 'Lord of the Mighty Danes,' '
guardian of the Scyldings,' and 'protector of warriors.' Much of these
people's respect come in response to Hrothgar's generosity to everyone.
This generosity can be seen towards Beowulf, when the king gives his thanks
for the heroic deeds of the warrior. Hrothgar rewards Beowulf with
priceless material as he says to the warrior, 'You shall lack no earthly
riches I can offer you.' The people of the land also trust their king, who
holds a strong belief in God. In the scene where Hrothgar celebrates
Grendel's death, he holds the monsters hand as he says, 'Let us give thanks<...

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