Beowulf, Element of Epics

Topics: Beowulf, Grendel, Heorot Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: November 6, 2005
The Great Epic
According to most dictionaries, an epic is an extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero. While this is true, the epic Beowulf contains more than those two requirements. This story contains five elements which make it an epic. There is an epic hero, action of an immense scale, an elevated writing style, long speeches meant to inspire or instruct, and also the descent into the underworld.

An epic hero is a main character who embodies the ideals of a certain culture. The character is named Beowulf and he represents the ideals of the Anglo-Saxon culture which were bravery, skillfulness, and generosity. Beowulf showed his braveness multiple times throughout the story. After he heard of a monster named Grendel who, for twelve years had been attacking King Hrothgar's mead hall Heorot, Beowulf traveled to the Danish islands to defeat him. Even though Beowulf didn't know anything about Grendel he went on a long voyage to reach the islands so that the Hrothgar's people need not live in fear. Then, after Beowulf Grendel, Grendel's mother came after the people of Heorot to avenge her son's death. To reach her, Beowulf had to dive into dark dangerous waters, facing unknown peril. He swam down through the shadowy lake by himself fighting off monsters the whole way. Once he did arrive at her lair a vicious fight ensued, but the courageous Beowulf came out victorious once again. Later in Beowulf's life, a dragon destroys his village and the large mead hall he had built for his men. Even though he knew he was no longer as agile and strong, Beowulf went straight to the dragon and gave a defiant shout of challenge.

The epic hero Beowulf was also very skillful when it came to battles. When he first fought Grendel, Beowulf had no idea what he was up against. Instead of just attacked Grendel, he waited until the monster had killed one of the other men in the hallway while...
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