Literary Analysis Essay on Modern Values Evident in Beowulf Character

Paper Type:  Literature review
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  624 Words
Date:  2022-09-11


In the short story "Beowulf" Beowulf is my favorite character as he exemplifies the traits of a hero along with other values about the modern world. Regardless of the different technological and cultural developments in the contemporary values, there is a great resemblance to the Anglo-Saxon world. For instance, there are different modern values in the character of Beowulf expressed. The current values include pride in accomplishments and materialism. In the character of Beowulf, the present value of materialism is represented in different sections of the story. For example, the modern values of materialism it is shown when Beowulf wills every individual around him to send his armor to Hilgac, which depicts on his pride in the armor and how he wants it returned to the people it had been passed from (Malone, 1948). The willingness of Beowulf to ensure that the material is delivered or returned signifies on materialism whereby in today's setting, people are embracing the practice.

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Moreover, the modern value of pride in accomplishments is another value evident in Beowulf's character. Beowulf is honored and boasts significantly about his achievements along with showing his pride. For example, we find in the story that Beowulf used his glory in previous battles to justify his actions especially when he went to help Hrothgar (Malone, 1948). Also, Beowulf's spirit of adventure ensured that he gained a lot of glory as in different parts during the beginning of the story Beowulf is seen using his strength for fame and recognition. Currently, pride in accomplishments may gain terming as boasting which involves competing against another individual. Although the present values in the society might have changed, values such as pride in accomplishment are one that has dominated the community and can be seen through the character of Beowulf.

Additionally, the modern value of the heroic code that values courage, loyalty, and strength in warriors; generosity and hospitality in leaders are evident in the character of Beowulf. In the story, Beowulf grows from being just a warrior but into a leader who is demonstrated through different traits and values. In this, it creates the relation of the universal theme of tensions between the heroic code and other value systems. Also, it ensures a bigger view of the universal theme of establishing identity. For example, Beowulf sets the record straight about his character especially through his actions and other occurrences within the story (Malone, 1948).

Reflection of Literature On the Society, Culture, Place, And History

Through the concepts of Beowulf's character, it informs details concerning the representation of literature on the culture, society, location, and history. Literature reflects on the culture and community within the set period and delivers a reflection of the society based on its values whether good or bad. The since literature is designed to portray human life and action; we see the Beowulf being used to convey the message on the position of the society. For instance, through the use of the warrior society, Beowulf depicted a sense of revenge and personal glory. In every society, events of war may create an opportunity for glory or revenge (Hill, 1995). In the story, Beowulf, the character of Beowulf is used to emulate the real events in the society and present them in a manner where people can understand their society and make amendments where necessary. Also, the occurrence concerning the character of Beowulf tell us about the nature of society to rely on other elements especially through the cultures of people among other events and developing them. For example, we see Beowulf transition from a warrior to a king who sets the nature of the society regarding Beowulf (Hill, 1995).


Hill, J. (1995). Cultural World in Beowulf. University of Toronto Press.

Malone, K. (1948). Beowulf. English Studies, 29(1-6), 161-172, DOI: 10.1080/00138384808596800

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