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Beowulf as an Epic Study Questions

By hunternelson172 Aug 27, 2013 417 Words
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Epic Heroes on Epic Quests

Part I: Characteristics of Epic Poetry: There is an EPIC HERO! Here are some characteristics about what makes a hero EPIC:

1. Hero: the hero has national or even cosmic importance. Where do you see evidence of this in the text? Be specific. When Beowulf arrives at the village, everyone instantly knows about him, and why he is there and he is praised for it.

2. Vast Setting: the scene of the action is not limited to local surroundings. Is this characteristic fulfilled in Beowulf? How?

Yes because Beowulf himself comes from a place that is not in the setting and a place that is never described, and he fights Grendel’s mother in a place that is not originally mentioned.

3. Superhuman Deeds or Miraculous Journey: What deeds does Beowulf do? What journey is he on?

Beowulf kills Grendel as a service to the village and community. He is on a journey to gain fame, glory, and fortune.

4. God(s) or Supernatural Beings Take Interest in Humans: Where do you see evidence of this in the text? Be specific.

When Grendel begins to kill all the humans for fun, and how Grendel’s mother reacts when she sees Beowulf.

5. Ceremonial Performance: the story is narrated in an elevated (oral) style: Where do you see evidence of this in the text? Be specific.

During the fights between Beowulf and Grendel, as well as between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother. It is being narrated from a 3rd person view.

Part II: Characteristics of Epic Poetry: There is a QUEST.

|Step |Definition |Where does it happen in Beowulf? | |Call to Adventure |When the hero feels the need to do something |Battle with Grendel/Grendel’s mom: | | |that gains them fame and fortune | | | | |Battle with the dragon: | |Cross Threshold |When they actually complete an action that |Battle with Grendel/Grendel’s mom: | | |moves them closer to fame and fortune | | | | |Battle with the dragon: | |Challenges |When the hero encounters something that he did |Battle with Grendel/Grendel’s mom: | | |not expect | | | | |Battle with the dragon: | |Abyss |When the hero does not see an end in sight |Battle with Grendel/Grendel’s mom: | | | | | | | |Battle with the dragon: | |Cross Threshold |When the hero makes it to the end of the |Battle with Grendel/Grendel’s mom: | | |threshold | | | | |Battle with the dragon: | |Return |When the hero completes his tasks and goals |Battle with Grendel/Grendel’s mom: | | | | | | | |Battle with the dragon: |

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6. Return

4. Abyss

3. Challenges

2 and 5. Threshold

1. Call to Adventure

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