The early Middle Age of Europe is thought to be the period where Europe emerged as a distinguishable society. This emerging culture for Europe can be seen through the influence it has on European language, and art. Each part of this new culture is very important to our readings from Beowulf because they correlate strongly. For example, Christianity was becoming popularized among the people of the European region during the early Middle Ages, and is apparent in the ancient work Beowulf.
Another connection between this time period and Beowulf is their monarch politics. Rulers of the Carolingian dynasty brought on a new and broad cultural revival1. But, politics and culture quickly changed due to the period of 800 A.D. to 1000 A.D. holding many violent and extreme invasion of Europe. Each aspect of cultural growth and change that Europe experienced through the early Middle Ages is further illustrated throughout this wiki page.
During this pivotal moment in European history, the people of Europe faced many threats.
The Europeans lived in constant fear due to the dangers on every border. The Magyars raided Europe from the east, the Muslims raided from the south, and the Vikings raided from the north and west2. Essentially, during this time period Europe was a free for all to many raider groups. This fear of enemies can be seen through the work of Beowulf, where the main hero fights off “enemy” monsters.
In broad terms, Beowulf is the story of a hero, Beowulf, who battles monsters to protect his region and the people in it.
This “hero versus monster” theme carries continuously throughout the entirety of the story, leaving the reader translating the “hero versus monster” struggle to the age-old struggle of “good versus evil”. It impresses on the reader to always carefully sort out the “heroes” from the “monsters” during their lifetime, even though this task is difficult. This “good versus evil” can be seen as an influence of the many wars and invasions from this time period. Beowulf also presents cultural influences that are contiguous to the culture of the early Middle Ages of Europe (800 A.D.-1000 A.D.). Throughout this ancient story, one will easily be able to correlate the culture found in this wiki page to that illustrated in Beowulf.