Cultural diversity is something that mankind has experienced since the dawn of time. Different cultures and different people have different views on the same issues, and it all adds to the diversity that is life. It shows that there is something for everybody. For the most part, there is no one person saying that everyone has to be this or follow that. A person’s culture is determined on how they are brought up, what country they live in, how their parents were raised, and what the people around them do and believe in. The differences in culture is what caused people of later time to believe in more that one God, something that, for the most part, is unheard of today. It lead to Feudalism and the divine right to the throne. Different people are brought up to think different things, and the things people learn as a child stick with them forever. Culture is also based on choice, and every person has the choice to do whatever makes them happy. So much is know about culture now because it has been recorded in books such as Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and The Nibelungenlied. Three different books displaying cultural views from three different time periods. And it is with works like these that modern scholars and historians can examine what the people and times were like back then.
Two books with a similar time period were those of The Nibelungenlied and Beowulf, both placed in 6th century Europe, one based in England and the other in Germany. Both cultures had a history of war, almost a passion for it. The English had no fear for what they might battle, and knew the consequences like every skilled knight should: “However great an army we take, the Queen has such dreadful ways that they would all have to die through her arrogance.” (The Nigelungenlied, Ch. 6, pg. 54) But knights had to know the risk involved in being one of the best, and the sacrifices that needed to be made to put their country on top. And it has been shown that both cultures took pride in their work: “Then the king ordered eight gold-bridled horses to be led onto the floor, into the enclosure; on one of them was a saddle skillfully decorated, ornamented with jewels.” (Beowulf, lines 1036-1038).
It can be seen in both Beowulf and The Niblungenlied that the quest for expansion of one’s country is one of importance.
Epic of Beowulf Essay – Heroes – Then and Now
Beowulf – Heroes Then and Now
Heroes today have changed from those of Beowulf’s day. Back in the time of Beowulf heroes were mainly the protectors of the country such as warriors and kings. The roles have changed today were heroes consist of celebrities and sport players. The roles have changed because our society has changed as well.
In the time of Beowulf the kings were of the utmost of importance. Without a king the country was sure to fall into ruins. The king’s duty was to protect the country. He did this by keeping up with the wars of the surrounding country and finding warriors to protect the country. The king was highly respected and he had a very important job. Without the king there was no hope for the country. Today really is not all that different, instead of a king we have a president. Our president must still keep up with the foreign affairs including wars in order to protect our country. He must also be able to foresee any affect that foreign affairs might have on the country in the long run. It is out president’s responsibility to ensure that our military divisions, including the airforce, navy, and army, are prepared and able to defend our nation or our nation’s allies.
In the epic, Beowulf, heroes were also warriors. These warriors were supposed to protect the country against “monsters” and invasions. The warriors were strong men who could physically make an attack or prevent an attack in order to protect their country. Beowulf was a warrior who was a hero to the country where the Danes lived. Beowulf was able to protect and serve the Danes by killing Grendel. Grendel was an evil monster who had been killing the people that had been sleeping in the hall that he haunted. Beowulf became a hero by not only killing Grendle but also by tearing off his shoulder arm and claw with his bear hands. This is an amazing feat that an ordinary man could not accomplish. To kill a monster with one’s bear hands is simply unheard of!
Today our heroes do not normally consist of a warrior as much as a sports player. They too, like the warrior, do things that the ordinary man could not do. Accomplishing unordinary feats is how they earn the respect of the nation. Their job is also equally important as the warrior because they allow people to escape their problems and lives for a while they watch the sport.