Marco Aurelien Period 1st Mr. Hill British Lit Beowolf: To leave or not to leave In many ways the ancient Greek and Roman of Beowulf times are intertwined with the modern lives that all of us lead today. These antiquities affect us beyond the obvious government, theatrical, and social practices. The core values of this era mirror and shape our modern core values and morals of today. Pietas – loyalty, gravitas – seriousness, and dignitas – respect are all things that were seen as important at this time period just as they are seen as important in todays world.
It is easy to talk about the obvious positive traits that characters have shown in the epic novels or poems we have read but it is more interesting to look at the shadows on grey in a person to show the realism within. The more difficult way of comparing these different eras is to look at the morals and core values that the citizens lived by. Pietas, gravitas, and dignitas, are three general core values that every one in society must show and live by on a daily basis. In Beowulf, he had the task to going up against what seemed to be an undefeatable and despised monster that could ultimately lead to his demise.
Most would say that Beowulf should a large amount of bravery and Gravitas to go and venture to Denmark to defeat Grendel. Another vantage point is that in actuality Beowulf lacked Pietas to his nation in leaving to fight a battle that was not his own. Though his father had left him in debt of a favor to King Hrothgar, it was his own choice to follow in his father’s footsteps as a warrior. Beowulf was an exemplary example of Dignitas in all aspect of his life, as a role model and giving and commanding respect from everyone. These core values still surround us in modern times everyday and are necessary in order to succeed in life.
A student must exhibit all of these things if they are attempting to become a well-rounded scalar and human being. If everyone demonstrates pietas, or loyalty, towards his or her community and school they will have a strong support system around them allowing them to reach their true potential. Students should have a certain level of gravitas, or seriousness, in order to create a safe and effective learning environment for not only his or herself but for everyone around them. While it is important for students to have pietas and gravitas is even more important that that student had dignitas, or respect, for others and for themselves.
Everyone may believe that Beowulf exhibited the core values at all times but it can be proven that he did not. These ancient values are as relevant as possible in the modern day world. We may have been able to do without theater or even a democratic political system but if people began living without pietas, dignitas, and gravitas society would fall apart. The modern citizen must exhibit all of these core values if they expect to be successful and if they do they are eventually going to do well in life.
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