Virtue and Epic

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Beowulf, the Anglo Saxon tale of a hero’s great courage, is an example of the epic form of literature. An epic is a long narrative poem that celebrates a hero’s deeds. Beowulf takes place on the European mainland, among two tribes which were the Danes and the Geats. The Geat warrior, Beowulf, crosses the sea to help the Danes and fights monsters, he later returns to Sweden to succeed his uncle Higlac as king of the Geats. Another reason Beowulf is an epic is because the story has a vast setting and includes a long, dangerous journey. Beowulf not only fights in land but he also fought dangerous sea creatures underwater. Throughout this epic, Beowulf makes a journey to find Grendel’s mother, he ends up fighting big, strong monsters underwater. Not only did he have to breathe underwater but he also had to fight. This journey was very dangerous because he had no help; he had to fight the sea creatures by himself. Beowulf should be considered an epic because it is a hero who performs supernatural feats and is in a high position in his society. There is a hero who performs supernatural feats, Beowulf breathes underwater for hours and hours, he has great strength. Beowulf has courage and bravery. He fights monsters twice his size and he ends up victorious. The hero is of noble birth or high position in his society. Beowulf’s uncle is Higlac and he is king of the Geats, therefore Beowulf is honored and respected by people in Herot. Beowulf was the strongest man in Herot that is another reason why he had a high position in his society. Beowulf also qualifies an epic because the hero’s character traits reflect important ideals of his society. An ideal of Anglo Saxon culture on the 900’s was spreading the word about the idea of adopting Christianity. This ideal was important during that time period because religion was barely spreading and they wanted Christianity to be a main aspect of life. Throughout Beowulf it makes the comparison between good and evil. Beowulf...
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