Beowulf is a notable old English literary work, believed to be created between 700 and 750. The print form of the poem became available only in 1815. Its author is unknown, and neither was it titled at its inception. Instead, it was titled as it was after the protagonist of the story, Beowulf. This is understandably so since the central theme of heroism is conveyed through the character of Beowulf.
The author wrote this work to advocate and propagate the core values of the ancient Northern European communities. The dominant ethical and moral appeal of the story is instilling loyalty to the tribe and the leader of the tribe, be it a chief or king. Moreover, the heroism theme of the poem is calculated to underline the value of pursuing vengeance to the adversaries of the tribe. This is seen in Beowulf’s unrelenting bravery and commitment to ridding the kingdom of the monsters.
The recurring image in the literary piece is demonic and monstrous attacks and bravery in facing and defeating the monsters. This imagery aims to bring to the fore the nature of life during the period in which the poem is set. There was recurrent and constant warfare between communities. The poem is a motivational work designed to instill bravery in the warriors of the time to be unrelenting in fending off such perennial opponents that were an existential threat to the community.
The story succinctly captures the culture and tradition of the ancient Northern Europeans. It highlights the value of repaying debt at all costs. This is shown by Beowulf’s act to fight the demon Grendel as a kind gesture and to discharge his father’s debt to King Hrothgar. Additionally, the warrior code of the time is highlighted. At the time, warriors were famed for and encouraged to take on the most daunting of opponents for them to increase their reputation. Finally, the moral statement of the story is quite explicit. The story encourages heroism and loyalty to the community through unwavering service, either as a warrior or as a king.