Lived in tribal groups with a high class of warriors.
Kings emerged as society developed.
Spoke Old English. This was the language that Beowulf was written in.
Became Christian but still valued heroic ideals and traditional heroes.
Their culture valued human contact, family, virtue, and a good story. They feared humiliation and loneliness in their lives. In addition, the Anglo-Saxons desired richness, power, and appreciated heroic actions of warriors.
The epic poem Beowulf strengthens the Heroic Code. This code was derived from the Anglo-Saxons’ Germanic roots, and called for strength, courage, and loyalty in warriors. It also required kings to be hospitable, generous, and have great political skills. This code was a basis for Anglo-Saxon honor.
Beowulf travels to Hrothgar’s village to save them from Grendel, a terrifying monster eating their warriors. An epic battle ensues with Beowulf is the winner. Of course, Grendel’s mother comes seeking vengeance for her son’s death. Again, Beowulf is called upon to save them all, and he fights heroically and defeats the evil monster. After being vastly rewarded and refusing an offer from Hrothgar to be his heir, Beowulf makes the long trek back to his homeland where he becomes a mighty and generous king for many years. He fights a massive dragon who is threatening his people. He and the dragon both die in the struggle, but he is heroic until the end.
I am Katelyn Wood, a student at Grand Valley State University currently majoring in Secondary Education for English and History. I enjoy learning about the Anglo-Saxon era and medieval England, which also explains my love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and spending entirely too much time reading many other good books. I spend my summers in CO enjoying peaches and the mountains, and I hope to live there permanently one day.