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Narratology and Beowulf

Oct 08, 1999 445 Words
Beowulf

John Meister
9\21\96

The early English epic Beowulf is filled with a marvelous hero , ghastly villains , far off lands , and deeds of great valor. These are some of the reasons why Beowulf is a great example of an early English epic. Beowulf is an epic because it has action that consists of deeds of great valor , the setting of Beowulf is in vast scope covering great lands and far off places , and the hero of the story , Beowulf , is of imposing stature of international and international importance.

One reason that Beowulf is an epic is because the action consists of deeds of great valor. Beowulf told a story of when he killed nine sea-beasts with his sword. He also said," I returned from a fight when I destroyed five a family of giants ," which proves the great strength that Beowulf had. When Beowulf talked about going to fight Grendel , he denied himself the use of a sword because he wanted a fair hand-to-hand fight with Grendel. When one of Hroathgars' coast guards set eyes upon Beowulf he said ,"I have never set eyes on a more noble man , you are no mere retainer."

Although the action in Beowulf consists of great deeds , the setting of the story is vast scope covering great lands and far off places. Beowulf said that his father was favored far and wide because he was a very noble lord. "The swift current , the surging water carried me to the far off Land of the Lapps ," said Beowulf as he told a story to one of Hroathgars' retainers. When Beowulf talked of where Grendel lived he said ,"These two live in a little known country with wolf-slopes , windswept headlands where a mountain stream plunges." The protagonist of Beowulf , Beowulf , is a figure of national and international importance with great historical and legendary significance. "Then he who feared no man , the proud leader of the Geats," said the author about Beowulf before he went to seek Grendel. Another example the narrator uses to show the importance of Beowulf is ,"Truly , the leader of the Geats fervently trusted in his own strength and in Gods grace." Once more the narrator said this of Beowulf ,"One of the Hygelacs thanes , Beowulf by name , renounced among the Geats for his great bravery."

Since Beowulf contains action that consists of deeds of great valor , the scope is in vast setting covering great lands and far off places. Also the hero of the story is a figure of imposing stature of national and international importance , we can conclude that Beowulf is a great example of an early English epic.

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