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Chivalric and Heroic Codes

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Chivalric and heroic codes in literature during Anglo-Saxon period

This paper seeks to discuss the chivalric and heroic codes as themes of literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to date. It also seeks to discuss the themes used in literature that reflect the Romans, Greek, Hebrews, and Anglo-Saxon period.

The Anglo-Saxon period

The Anglo-Saxon period is the time when most poems and stories from the epic times were written and great literature produced. It was a period of heroic struggle, which produced political ideals and many historical events that added essence to literature as an art work. The study of literature is a very important aspect that many people have appreciated and enjoyed from the Anglo-Saxon period to date. Literature is a whole new world that awaits discovery, a place where experience and magic is captured in words and expressions. Literature is, therefore, an expression of art in different ways and forms. It is not only a beautiful aspect or prospect of life, but also a truth that reflects important qualities in the world. It is important to note that the very essence of human beings and races can be reflected in literature (Tolkien, 224). Literature is a very old art that has been around from the Anglo-Saxon period to date, but has never lost its essence and beauty. It is, therefore, prudent to suggest that literature is the representation of history, expression of beauty, facts presentation, and record of life. The beauty of literature is that it plays on imagination with a prevalent and curious opinion, and it is founded solidly on ideals.

Characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon life

The term “Anglo-Saxon” entails a couple of German tribes. The life they were used to was one full of storms, struggle, wild beasts, dragons, and spirits. This is how literature was born from the history of Britain.

Chivalric and heroic codes in Beowulf

It is important to note that in every high culture literary genre chivalry is used in order to bring out the effects on the narrative of the verse and the heroic prose. Heroism from the Anglo-Saxon period was used by writers as a theme in the literary trend in Europe

Heroic codes have been largely used in this tale to bring out Beowulf as a super hero. Beowulf is a German hero, who is bold, fearless, strong, stoic, and loyal. He not only possesses chivalric ideals, but also tries to define the heroic theme during the Anglo-Saxon period. Beowulf is, therefore, a poem, which focuses on heroic codes and is centered on the culture of warriors during the Anglo-Saxon period (Malory, 942).

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight themes

Numerous themes are used in this story. These themes include: nature and human society, futility of human constructions, faith in God, pagan sources and Christian overlay, loss of innocence and fall of man, questioning romance and viability if chivalric values. The theme of nature and human society entails the conflicts and the violence that pushed the writer to confront the external and internal forces of nature. The challenges were brought about by his fear of death and his sexual desires. In the last part of the poem, the writer realizes the distinction between human believes and the power of nature (Tuso, 264). The futility of humann constructions is depicted in the technical sense and the ritualism of the architecture, clothing, and food in the poem. This simply means that there is a superficial questioning of the purpose for human constructs in this poem. The viability of chivalric values is a very important aspect in the medieval literature. The chivalric codes used in human constructions are the main embodiment in the context of the same. There is a big contrast between the chivalric code and the questionable nature of faith in God. Romance is also questioned in the heroic context. The parodies of these elements seem to be excessive and deliberate. These themes help to satirize the language used in the romance and love in the poem.

Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur

Le Morte D’Arthur was an exemplary work written by Thomas Malory in the year 1408. It entails many exciting chivalrous adventures, which focus on sentiment and love. This particular genre was very well received by the audience from the epic times to the modern ones. This poem focuses on a heroic quest and the romantic chivalry concept during the Anglo-Saxon period.  In this poem the paragon of chivalry is realized by the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur. The Anglo-Saxon period was an age of secular glory and religious purity. This poem used heroic quest and chivalric concepts to develop the patriotic symbolism and mystic origins in the poem (Renard, 342).

Literature is a way or a form of communication, by which humans are able to learn about historical events from the epic times to date. Literature has developed from century to century, but the literary works from the Anglo-Saxon period remain one of the oldest literary work. 

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