Comparing And Contrasting The Use Of Fealty In Beowulf By Seamus Heaney And The Anglo Saxon Poem Dream Of The Rood

663 words - 3 pages

Fealty is one of the greatly-recognized values of the Anglo-Saxon world. Often defined as a type of loyalty or allegiance, fealty plays a more engaging and active role in Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf than in the Anglo-Saxon poem “The Dream of the Rood” because of the way it causes action to be taken. Understanding the use of this Anglo-Saxon value can reveal its importance in Anglo-Saxon life and literature.In Beowulf, the main character Beowulf uses fealty to empower him to perform heroic deeds. This is shown through the actions that he makes: upon hearing of the attacks by Grendel, Beowulf rushes to the aid of Hrothgar, a friend of his father's. Beowulf's father, Ecgtheow, previously killed Heatholaf, a member of the Wulfing tribe. According to Anglo-Saxon terminology and law, a debt or wergild must be paid to the relatives of the victim. Unable to pay this “manprice” (StudyGuide.org), Ecgtheow fled to avoid war. Hrothgar “healed the feud by paying” (Line 470) this debt which caused Beowulf's father to swear fealty to Hrothgar. It is this fealty that his father made that encourages Beowulf to “follow up on an old friendship” (Line 376) and assist Hrothgar by defeating Grendel. Another example where Beowulf uses fealty to act heroic is the decision to fight the dragon. Although this occurs in the older phase of Beowulf's life, his loyalty or fealty to the Geats “as king of the people” (Line 2513) obliges him to defend them, believing that it’s his duty. Conclusively, the utilization of fealty by Beowulf results in actions being carried out.The Anglo-Saxon value of fealty is also used by other characters in Beowulf to execute intrepid actions. The greatest example of this is the aid shown to Beowulf by Wiglaf during the battle against the dragon. During this battle, Beowulf’s sword fails him and he’s in need of assistance from the eleven comrades personally chosen for the encounter. However, excluding Wiglaf, “that hand-picked troop broke...

Find Another Essay On Comparing and Contrasting the Use of Fealty in Beowulf by Seamus Heaney and the Anglo-Saxon poem Dream of the Rood

Role of Women in the Epic of Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon Society

956 words - 4 pages provision was in effect earlier, even if it was not spelled out in law. Further legal rights of Anglo-Saxon women included the right to own property. (Beowulf gives the necklace and horses to Hygd, specifically, and other gifts to Hygelac.) They could inherit property from husbands, brothers, sisters, children parents and other relations. In fact, men were required by law to provide for their widows in their wills, and surviving wills show no

Women in the Epic of Beowulf and in Other Anglo-Saxon Poems

2034 words - 8 pages ) The roles of women in Beowulf are varied and non-stereotyped; some are peaceful and one at least is a killer, is warlike. The women of royal blood have considerable freedom of choice, range of activity, and room for personal growth and development. Regarding now the consideration of women in other Anglo-Saxon poems, the oldest poem in the English language is acknowledged to be an heroic poem entitled Widsith (Alexander 9). These 142

Beowulf the Anglo Saxon Hero

735 words - 3 pages The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible person with all the extraordinary traits required of an Anglo Saxon hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters many monsters and horrible beasts, but he never fears the threat of death. His leadership skills are outstanding and he is even

Analysis of Beowulf as the typical Anglo-Saxon Hero

794 words - 3 pages Beowulf: The Quintessential Anglo-Saxon HeroIn the ancient times when Germanic tribes thrived in Britain, life was a harsh struggle for survival. The people of this era lived under laws influenced by honor and revenge. Warfare and blood feuds were a deep-rooted part of their culture and everyday lives. In this age of fighting for survival, outstanding warriors were of great value. Certain characteristics came to define such a fighter, and were

How Seamus Heaney Evokes the Sensations and Emotions of Childhood by Comparing any Three of his Poems

3325 words - 13 pages 28 September 2003How Seamus Heaney Evokes the Sensations and Emotions of Childhood by Comparing any Three of his PoemsI am going to compare "Churning Day", "An Advancement of Learning" and Mid-Term Break". The topics I am going to cover are Heaney's use of senses, the changes of mood, how he conveys emotions, his subject matters and the structure of his poems.First I am going to look at Heaney's use of the senses, which he does with great effect

Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf

1675 words - 7 pages Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf By definition the word “hero” might be interpreted in one of four ways. First off in mythology and legend, a hero is often of divine ancestry. He is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Secondly, a hero is a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Thirdly, a hero

Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon Symbolism

861 words - 3 pages over evil but one cannot avoid death. Beowulf’s death can be symbolized as the death of the Anglo Saxons. Beowulf’s battle through the poem reflects the kind of culture that the Anglo Saxons had. The youth of a warrior to his maturity then the last fight which results in death. Beowulf wanted to be remembered and be told in stories that are passed on from generation to generation after his death. These story tellers relate to the Anglo Saxons time

Beowulf: The Ideal Anglo-Saxon Hero

860 words - 3 pages Originating in the Anglo-Saxon period, the epic poem Beowulf portrays a legendary hero. Beowulf established the earlier form of heroism, and was then later introduced in to the English culture. Praised and admired by many people, Beowulf possesses several distinct traits that allow him to be defined perfectly as an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero; his eagerness to seek glory and fame, rather than richness and treasures, his loyalty and graceful attitude

Esssay on the poem Blackberry-picking by Seamus Heaney

805 words - 3 pages "Blackberry-picking" by Seamus HeaneyBlackberry-picking is a poem by Seamus Heaney, in which he describes an incident from his childhood. The poem appeals to the five senses and uses various poetic techniques to paint a memorable picture in our minds.Heaney describes blackberry-picking as a child with his family. He vividly describes the blackberries and how they tasted, then he describes how he went out picking then and what the blackberries

Literary Influence: From Paganism to Christianity- Comparison between The Dream of the Rood, Beowulf, and religious texts

2093 words - 8 pages a leader loyally will allow one to be as noble, brave, and respected as the protagonists presented in both the Dream of the Rood and Beowulf. These texts allowed Anglo- Saxon Pagans to subconsciously be more open to accepting the ideals behind the emerging religion of Christianity.The third structural part of this sequence discusses the obstacles which Christ must endure, as reflected by the two main characters in the texts in discourse. As

Two poems for comparison by Seamus Heaney ("Churning day" and "An advancement of learning"). Describing the use of Imagery/viewpoint/atmosphere for comparison

2296 words - 9 pages The poet I will be focusing on in my essay is Seamus Heaney and his two poems I will be comparing are "Churning Day" and "An Advancement of learning". Heaney was born into a farming family from the north of Ireland in 1939. His poetry mainly seems to handle different themes of love, death, generation, and memories. They all hold a strong dramatic sense. Many of Heaney's early poems deal with his past childhood experiences and how he overcomes

Similar Essays

Anglo Saxon Conversion: Dream Of The Rood And Beowulf

1087 words - 5 pages Dream of the Rood and Beowulf will be compared and discussed. Both authors present their goals by using characteristics of the Norse Mythological Gods, to describe the heroes in both poems to lead their readers, the Anglo- Saxons, to convert to Christianity. There is a lot of historical context that is involved with this topic which describes the struggles in Britain in converting the people into Christianity. Anglo-Saxons that came into Britain

The Dream Of The Rood: An Outstanding Archetype Of Christian Influence On Anglo Saxon Heroism

1180 words - 5 pages Rood” Christ is an Anglo-Saxon hero. An Anglo-Saxon hero is valiant, strong or mighty and not frightened when in the face of death. An Anglo-Saxon hero can also be a savior to his people. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is valiant, strong and not frightened when confronted by death. Christ is also a savior. These topics represent Christianity’s influence on Anglo-Saxon heroism. Through symbolism, Christian principles influence Anglo-Saxon

Comparing And Contrasting Strongman By Tony Curtis And The Follower By Seamus Heaney

1281 words - 5 pages reference to wood, it displays another role reversal. The father is described as being in the cradle of his sons arms, whereas many years ago, the son would be in the fathers arms. The son’s arms are protective of him, supporting him, as he dies. The poem ‘Follower’ by Seamus Heaney is a poem expressing the great admiration that Heaney had for his father as a child. He was brought up on a farm, and often watched his fathers skill in awe as he

The Sea In Beowulf And In Other Anglo Saxon Poems

2085 words - 8 pages . They went east from Angel to Eormanric’s halls, the ruthless troth-breaker (8ff).   Imagine that – making a sea-journey without ever saying the word sea. The poet seems unemotionally neutral in his mention of the sea, which is unlike the epic Beowulf. This is the first and final mention of a sea-excursion in Widsith.   Another Old-English Anglo-Saxon poem is The Ruin. The title refers to a description of a
Superman vs La Elite | Hunter x Hunter (2011) Episode 120 English Dubbed | Complete list of top selling Xbox One Games