What Is an Example of Comitatus in “Beowulf”?

An example of comitatus in the story “Beowulf” is Beowulf’s sworn allegiance to King Hrothgar that he will defend the Hall of Heorot against the monster Grendel. Beowulf lives by his oath and faithfully keeps it by slaying the beast.

In Anglo-Saxon culture, the term “comitatus” referred to a code of honor between a lord and his warriors, who were called thanes. The lord provided lands and riches for his vassals, while the thanes pledged their fealty and vowed to protect their lord even at the cost of their own lives. A man who lived up to the comitatus was deemed a hero in those times.