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The fame shame warrior ethic was extremely important to ancient civilizations. It was how a man was supposed to act in order to become a hero and appreciated in the society.

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Introduction

Sean Schaefer The fame shame warrior ethic was extremely important to ancient civilizations. It was how a man was supposed to act in order to become a hero and appreciated in the society. One was not to run away during a war or battle. It was better to them to die fighting and not running away. To retreat would be an ultimate embarrassment. A man would much rather die fighting than to face the humiliation of defeat or weakness. To be known as a hero is the ultimate goal of a man. It is the only way for them to become immortal, and have their legacy live on forever. We see the fame shame warrior ethic in both "Beowulf" and "The Song of Roland" in similar and contrasting values. In "Beowulf" the warrior fame shame ethic is very evident with the main character Beowulf himself. Beowulf is the strongest and most fearless warrior known. Beowulf is called upon to kill a dragon named Grendel who is terrorizing a city. Beowulf expresses his warrior ethic and strength by saying in a speech he will defeat the dragon with his bare hands and not use a sword or any other weapons. ...read more.

Middle

Deliberately he passes over all the riches because wealth is not a hero's object. Instead what he brings with him are symbolic of his actions and will enhance the only wealth a hero knows - the stories told about him. The downfall of the hero, however, is his unthinking optimism, as Hrothgar warns, and his confidence in his strength. Beowulf is aged and has lost most of his strength when he fights the dragon Worm. Only Wiglaf stayed behind to help Beowulf, while the others ran back and retreated. In his last dying effort Beowulf killed Worm with aid from Wiglaf to finally preserve his warrior ethic and die in battle. "The Song of Roland" features similar aspects to the warrior fame shame ethic as in "Beowulf". "The Song of Roland" features a hero Roland, who really is a hero in the warrior fame shame ethic sense. However, the warrior shame fame ethic is more based on religion than immortality in "The Song of Roland". It is more important to them to preserve Christianity and save disgrace for their kin than for individual achievement or immortality. Roland and his confidante Oliver are set up by his stepfather Ganelon. ...read more.

Conclusion

Politics had little to do with Beowulf. Also, women played different roles in the "Beowulf" and "The Song of Roland". In "Beowulf" women did not really have a role in the society. They of course provided the usual role of having children. However, in "The Song of Roland" women did have a role. They had a role of worshiping and mourning. Women mourned the deaths of husbands and worshiped. "The Song of Roland" had a more modified warrior fame shame ethic. It was based more on the war between religion and loyalty. In "Beowulf" the warrior fame shame ethic was more about achieving immortality by becoming a great hero. Loyalty to the country and to Christianity or any other religion was evident in "The Song of Roland", where it is not as much in "Beowulf". However, the warrior fame shame ethic is obviously in both, and loyalty and honor are presented in "Beowulf" and "The Song of Roland". Both "Beowulf" and "The Song of Roland" display the warrior fame shame ethic. While, Beowulf fought for pride and immortality Roland resisted embarrassment for him and his family and preserved Christianity. Both men would much rather die fighting than running away. They would never even consider retreating from any battle. This ethic or code was extremely important to them and their societies. Roland and Beowulf fought the same but for different reasons. ...read more.

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