Beowulf as an Epic

Topics: Beowulf, Grendel's mother, Fiction Pages: 2 (699 words) Published: March 14, 2005

Beowulf is the single greatest story of Old English literature and one of the greatest epics of all time. Ironically, no one can lay claim to being the author of this amazing example of literature. The creator of this poem was said to be alive around 600 A.D. and the story was, since then, been passed down orally from generation to generation. When the first English monks heard the story, they took it upon themselves to write it down and add a bit of their own thoughts. Thus, a great epic and the beginning to English literature was born.

To be considered and epic, a piece of literature must exhibit quite a few specific, literary techniques. Some of the main criteria points include being a long, narrative poem, having an epic hero, and containing rhythm, alliteration, and imagery. Beowulf can be considered an epic because it contains all of this criteria.

Beowulf, first and foremost, is a long narrative poem. It contains 3,182 lines and has been divided into forty-three sections. It has been written in a way that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience and arranged so that the language stimulates an emotional response, the basis of why a piece of writing would be considered a poem.

Beowulf also contains an epic hero. The title of the poem has been named after our epic hero, Beowulf. In definition, an epic hero is someone that does larger than life deeds and is stronger and smarter than any normal man; and Beowulf fits this description as if the mold were made for him. He has the strength of thirty men and uses it as a major weapon against evil. This can be seen through Beowulf's battles with Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon.

Beowulf's first accomplishment as an epic hero was his battle with Grendel. Grendel was a huge beast, a descendent of Cain, who ruthlessly murdered innocent Danes because he felt pity for himself. Upon hearing of the Dane's problem, Beowulf set off to help the Danish without...
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