Epic Poetry and Beowulf Pg

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Epic poems have a unique set of characteristics that distinguish them from just an ordinary poem. An epic poem must contain a hero that is male, noble, and of importance to society who gives long formal speeches and travels over a vast setting. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the reader can see distinct Anglo-Saxon political, economic, and religious values in the actions of the characters and the things happening around them. Wealth in the Anglo-Saxon society, as seen in Beowulf, was used as a means of reparations, rewards, and political standings. One can also tell that the Anglo-Saxons where in a state of limbo between Christian and Pagan beliefs because of the ideas expressed by the hero and his colleagues in Beowulf. The political standings in Anglo-Saxon society and what the leaders thought was important to their nation are also clear cut in Beowulf. Beowulf also contains a handful of literary terms including stock epithets, kennings, alliterations, allusions, hyperbole, and imagery. Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic because it contains the necessary characteristics for it to be considered epic and it contains distinct Anglo-Saxon values. The poem takes place over a vast setting between Denmark and Sweden over a period of time extending longer then fifty years. The hero, Beowulf, is a male "of noble birth" (Beowulf pg.36) whose actions the fate of the Danes. Beowulf "come to them from across the sea, bold and strong-minded, had driven affliction off, purged Herot clean."(Beowulf pg.43). Beowulf also contains an abundant amount of long formal speeches, such as Beowulf's speech, lines 141-189, where he boasts to Hrothgar, and Wiglaf's speech on loyalty from line 700-735 when he is talking to the cowards. The economic values present in Beowulf can be clearly seen over the course of the poem. Wealth appears to be important in the Anglo-Saxon values as a means of reparations, rewards, and political standings instead of being used as a currency. In the opening of the...
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