Beowulf Heroic Code
- The broad theme
- The personal bond of kinship and loyalty between the retainers and their Lord, comitatus, is regarded as the basic social structure in the Germanic world
Holt & Tom (26) claim that one of the main critical agreements is that Beowulf is a heroic poem from which there is the emergence of the great Geatish warrior as an embodiment of the Germanic heroism characteristics. Beowulf is always on toes to pull out extraordinary courage and strength in the enemy's face. He is proud of his deeds that have seen him get the fame. According to Drout (150), he fulfils his role both as a generous protector of his warriors and as a loyal supporter of his king. These traits may occasionally be at odds to incorporate a Christian element, but the heroic values are easily realized in the poem. This essay does not try to criticize the heroic status of Beowulf, but rather its purpose is to provide a viable interpretation of the poem in reference to the necessary limitations of human understanding of a hero.
Regarding how the values are projected, I will start by further analyzing on the values and how they are projected onto Beowulf. More attention will be put in analyzing where the gaps can be identified inside that idealized cluster of virtues. It is important to note the poet's suggestion that in the incidence of his fight with Grendel's mother, Beowulf seem to feel fear for his life. We are well conversant that a Germanic hero should observe the value of military honor over anything else. However, this is arguable that symptoms like this of occasional weakness should bear upon the human dimension character. In reference to Beowulf's potential defects, I will concentrate on lack of judgment. In the final section, this essay will show how the fatal conclusion of the poem has relation to Beowulf?s inability to come into terms with human condition intricacies as well as to identify the unstable nature of the heroic world underlying forces and the position he is expected to occupy within it. The hero seems to place his position as king of the people of Geat on the same level as God's rule over mankind.