Beowulf is an epic based on the Anglo Saxon time period. Consequently the Anglo Saxon period, is also know as Early English. The time period begins with the first invaders in 449 A.D. and ends with the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. In this vast period of time, many characteristics are developed. Many of these characteristics are in the epic Beowulf. Beowulf is an important epic because it shows many of the Anglo Saxon society's characteristics.
Beowulf is an epic that is important because it shows Anglo Saxon characteristics that include loyalty, personnel indebtedness, heroism, and fame. Loyalty to the Anglo Saxon means that if a ruler needed a solider no matter what the situations or barriers that solider would serve his ruler. Several examples of this are in Beowulf: .
""I remember how we sat in the mead-hall, drinking / And boasting of how brave we"d be when Beowulf / Needed us, he who gave us these swords / And armor: all of us swore to repay him, / When the time came, kindness with kindness /---With our lives, if he needed them" " (745-750). .
Wiglaf is directly speaking of both loyalty and another Anglo Saxon concept called personal indebtedness. Wiglaf points out all the things that Beowulf did for him. So he believes he needs to give him something in return. This exactly what personal indebtedness means. Anglo Saxons also believed in the concept of a hero. To be defined as a hero a person must be strong, brave, intelligent, and a protector. Beowulf is the hero in this epic poem: "Then Beowulf rose, still brave, still strong, / And with his shield at his side, and a mail shirt on his breast, / Strode calmly, confidently, toward the tower, under / The rocky cliffs: no coward could have walked there" (650-654)! In the passage, the reader can tell that Beowulf has most of the characteristics to be a hero. A hero has a characteristic like being strong, smart, a protector, and having leadership skills.