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    Importance of The Mead Hall – Anglo-Saxon in “Beowulf”

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    Most people have a certain place of comfort. Perhaps it is their home or a certain building or room. Maybe it is a place for excitement and security. For the Anglo-Saxon in “Beowulf” it is the mead hall. The mead hall offers entertainment, happiness and protection. In the mead hall, the king can host many meals bringing the kingdom together as one. In “Beowulf” it appeared that the mead hall held many celebratory feast in honor of achievements. For the Anglo-Saxon and the people of “Beowulf” the mead hall is an important part of their way of living and contributes to many factors of their lifestyle.

    The mead hall is similar to a large dining room that houses meals, entertainment and for some shelter. Think of when a family has dinner together, this usually gives the family time to bond and absorb everything that has been going on in each others lives. This was the same for the Anglo-Saxon. Meals and entertainment brought everyone together to share quality time. Whether it was just hanging out, drinking alcohol or having a meal the mead hall helped make it happen.

    Another popular reason for going to the mead hall was to drink Mead. Mead was a type of alcohol that was favored during this time. Sometimes there are victories worth celebrating like when Beowulf defeated Grendel. The mead hall always supported whatever event the Anglo- Saxon had planned.

    The Anglo-Saxon made the mead hall based off their cultures and beliefs. When something requires a lot of work and dedication it usually becomes pretty important to whoever spent their time and effort on it. It’s like when someone works for money to pay for a car versus someone who is handed a car; most kids who work for it are more likely to appreciate the car and take better care of it. The Anglo-Saxon felt very passionate about it because it was built up from their beliefs.

    The mead hall made an impact on their life because without it things could have been totally different. There would not have been gatherings or celebrations or maybe there still would but where? The mead hall wasn’t just a place for lunch or dinner it was a place to celebrate life and victory or for the king when he felt like bringing the kingdom together no matter the occasion. In other words, whether it’s for partying or whatever the situation be the mead hall impacted everyone’s life at the time.

    In “Beowulf” the mead hall is called Heorot. In Heorot people can be seen drinking mead given to them by the queen. Heorot is also the location for the celebratory meal after Beowulf defeats Grendel. The mead hall is where the reader discovers that the queens do most of the hosting when it comes to meals and any other gatherings. The queen is the one who hands out the mead to all of the people who participated in the meal. The mead hall gives the queen a job. Without the mead hall the queen may not have a role to help out in the community.

    The mead hall is also a place for the king to bring news to the rest of the community. Whether it be about an attack on the kingdom or a new plan the king wants to inforce. The mead hall puts everyone in one place which benefits whoever has something planned. The king used the mead hall to his advantage for whatever he needed. Perhaps if the king threw a good party then more people would favor him. The more people who approved of the king made his reign smoother. Overall the mead hall has many benefits for the king and his townsmen.

    The mead hall’s name may have been encouraged by the alcohol mead that was commonly drank by the Anglo-Saxon. Mead is an alcoholic beverage that is like honey wine. Mead can contain anywhere from eight to eighteen percent of alcohol. Mead is mostly a natural based product but can accompany some production products when made from home. The water content in honey can change every year and just the slightest difference in the recipe can make the mead not taste right. Perhaps the Anglo-Saxon discovered the mix and began using it for all of their celebrations and gatherings. Majority of the time people can be found drinking mead in the mead hall(Srimeena, Gunasekaran, & Murugesan, 858).

    The mead hall was made possible by the Anglo-Saxon. The mead hall was a large room that was most likely built with wood. The building had doors on each end of the building and a main door allowing entrance wherever is most convenient. Most mead halls had fireplaces to keep the room warm during special gatherings. Many times accents of gold can be found throughout the mead hall especially during holidays. The Anglo-Saxons worked long and hard in order to make the mead hall perfect not only for their kingdom but also for the king(Wentersdorf 411).

    The mead hall makes an impression on the story of “Beowulf” that contributes to the story as a whole. Without the mead hall everything would be different and the story would drastically change. Perhaps the community would not be as close and everyone would have to eat alone and separated from everyone else. The mead hall also gives some people shelter when they have nowhere else to go. Without the mead hall so many people would have to change their everyday routines. The king would also have to find somewhere else to be able to get the whole kingdom’s attention. Life was just more simple with the mead hall and everything it provides. Without the mead hall the community would have to make unnecessary adjustments.

    The Anglo-Saxon had many complications throughout life the last thing they needed was lack of a dining hall. Anglo-Saxon had a lot of things to worry about other than a building. They had to worry about war, their land, and whatever other problems they faced every day. After all the hard thing that happen throughout the day it is nice to be able to go to the mead hall to drink and let loose. Luckily the Anglo-Saxon had common rights that helped make life a little easier with land and war(Oosthuizen 156).

    In conclusion, the mead hall contributed to the lifestyle of the Anglo-saxon in more than one way. The mead hall made life easier and it also brought everyone together for special events. The mead hall was a beneficial building for whatever was brought its way. Without it the story would not have been the same. The mead hall gave people jobs, provided shelter and protection, and made a safe environment for celebrations and meals. The mead hall was built up from the beliefs and cultures of the Anglo-Saxon. The mead hall was an important part of living for everyone who was involved. Most people like to live life the easiest way possible and the mead hall helps makes this possible. Too many things in life are complicated so it’s nice to have something in life that makes things easy such as the mead hall.

    The mead hall was an important part of “Beowulf” and helped shape the story. If it had not been built parts of the story would have never been possible. Such as when the celebration for “Beowulf” was held, the mead hall is the reason it was able to happen. The mead hall was a big part of the story and demonstrated the life of the Anglo-Saxon. For the people of “Beowulf” and the Anglo-Saxon the mead hall was a big part of their lifestyle.

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    Importance of The Mead Hall – Anglo-Saxon in “Beowulf”. (2022, Mar 22). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/importance-of-the-mead-hall-anglo-saxon-in-beowulf-175872/

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