darkagesfinal

darkagesfinal - James Hanna HIST 4511 Professor Scott G....

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James Hanna HIST 4511 Professor Scott G. Bruce 29 April 2007 The Early Medieval Warrior Ethos The nature of the warrior ethos is as simple as it is
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complex. To the exterior all is serene, calculated, and ready, meanwhile deep emotion, memory, and care exist to guide the warriors actions in order that they me be just, true, and precise. He is a thinker that need never question. He is a fighter that never retreats. He is fair but unyielding. He remembers but does not regret. He takes action but never in haste. This is who Beowulf is, and who all early medieval warriors are meant to be. Such is the mold that has been cast, but each figure it presses contains subtle faults, and imperfections that are both large and small. So it is within these variations of the prototype that the true nature of the subject is to be found. The epic and heroic story of Beowulf provides the optimized version, the mold, in the form of the prince, where he alone stands as the peak of the warrior ethos. The other works found in the Earliest English Poems, namely Widsith, Deor, Fight at Finnsburg, and Waldere also serve to further this ideal image of the warrior. Giving accounts of greatness, lasting glory, and courage. But the juxtaposition to these optimized versions of the early medieval warrior is presented as well. Through the Ruin, The Wanderer, and The Seafarer the contrasting traits of human nature are added to the equation. True human emotion, suppressed and ignored by the other works, is allowed to
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run free through the authors hand in these and they show the fear, doubt, regrets and fallibility of man that are in actuality contained within the warrior himself. All of which combines to give the truest image possible of the early medieval warrior’s nature. From such accounts the guiding principles of early medieval warrior character are presented. Despite any artistic license taken, or religious connotations intended, throughout all of these works the same parameters for life hold true. To be a warrior is to hold loyalty and honor above all else. In the eyes of medieval warriors these are the only two things that truly matter to ones self and to others. Because of this they are the paramount morals of their lives, they are the pillars of their character, they are their ethos. Each aspect of life, action, and thought in this time period, for these men, is defined by how they comply with these two adjoined notions. To understand both these ideas as these men did though, a comprehensive knowledge of what each pillar was constructed of is
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course HIST 4511 taught by Professor Bruce during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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darkagesfinal - James Hanna HIST 4511 Professor Scott G....

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