Selflessness In Beowulf

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Beowulf takes place during the 6th century under a strong influence of Anglo Saxon ideals, these ideals are crucial parts in explaining why the people of Beowulf act the way they do. Burton Raffel’s remark on the “poet’s insight into people” is evident multiple times throughout the poem. Important values such as selflessness are displayed through the heroic actions of Beowulf, grief shown through the loss of a loved ones, and gratitude given for another’s help. The poet of Beowulf offers fantastic insight to the people of the novel, as stated by Burton Raffel, through displaying their values of selflessness, gratitude, and grief. Early in the poem the reader is introduced to the hero Beowulf referred to as a highborn thane of the Geats. Beowulf hears of the horrors Grendel is causing to the Danes, and he does not hesitate to set sail for Denmark and assist. There was no person or item that incentivized Beowulf to leave his people and go defend strangers. Beowulf went out “to sail the swan’s road and search out the king, the famous prince who needed defenders” (Heaney 15). He selflessly leaves his own…show more content…
Each of those three insights are displayed throughout the poem. Selflessness is displayed through the heroic actions Beowulf takes to protect people who are strangers to him. Gratitude is expressed through the mighty king Hrothgar to Beowulf for saving his people from an eventual demise. Grief is present throughout the novel but is most clearly expressed through Hrothgar at the loss of his elder and friend Aeschere. With this I beleive Burton Raffel was correct in stating that one of the most satisfying parts of the poem is the poet's insight into people. Its insight is what how the poem creates such complex and diverse characters that hold something in them we all have experienced or desire to

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