Feudalism led to prominent changes in European society as it impacted politics, religion, and social norms. The appearance of the feudal contract that contained the obligations of lord and vassal created new relationships between people. Society was divided into landlords, their knights, and common people. The emergence of feudalism was predefined by the need for a professional army that could defend a lord and his territories from other landlords who fought endlessly for their dominance in the region.
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The Old English epic poem Beowulf presents a good illustration of the relations and obligations of lords and vassals. Beowulf is ready to fight and give his life for Hrothgar if needed. In the feudal political system, loyalty and generosity in the relationships between lords and vassals are considered of great value.
Rich rewards for good service are a recurring theme in Beowulf. From the religious point of view, the servitude of Beowulf is considered to be his holy duty. God defines the rights and obligations in feudal society. In the poem, the rule of Hrothgar is blessed by God. Grendel is presented as a God-cursed brute and a danger to the lands of the lord.