Beowulf is an intense and suspenseful epic poem and what makes it worth reading is the use of imagery. What would the world be like without imagery? Imagery is used in everything read today. Books, magazines, even the backs of movie cases. The world of reading would be different without imagery. And Burton Raffel made sure that Beowulf was full of said imagery, especially during the first, second, and third climaxes of the poem.
In Beowulf, the imagery for the first climax is full of surprise, violence and suspense. The suspense starts when Grendel snatches up the first Geat he sees and tears him apart. Imagery is used to intensify Grendel’s actions by tenfold. For example, “Grendel snatched at the first Geat/ he came to, ripped him apart, cut/ his body to bits with powerful jaws,/ drank his blood from his veins and bolted/ him down, hands and feet/ (line 739, page 46). Without that gruesome and violent imagery, Grendel would seem meek and boring. But that only begins the suspense and violence of the first climax. Imagery is greatly used when Beowulf and Grendel battle to the death. Beowulf fought Grendel and he “fastened those claws in his fists till they cracked,” (line 760, page 47) which shows that Beowulf was a strong entity and without the imagery, we wouldn’t quite grasp how inhumanly strong Beowulf was. Herot trembled while they battled which gives us the interpretation that the battle was intense and if Burton Raffel had not incorporated that bit in the story, we wouldn’t understand how extreme the battle between the two foes was. Lastly, imagery is used to show Grendel’s death. For example, “He twisted in pain/ And the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split/ And broke,” (line 815, page 480) which just proves that without the imagery during his death, Grendel would have died a very non descriptive and utterly unimportant death. Without imagery, the first climax would be dull, lifeless, and not in...
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