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Beowulf Case

Essay by   •  March 18, 2012  •  Essay  •  363 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,680 Views

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Beowulf is a story that has many traits of an epic, ranging from character traits It includes Christianity being a main factor as well as Beowulf being the hero that performs many heroic deeds. The setting is also important as it covers a vast amount of locations which make the story very intriguing.

The story begins with Beowulf traveling far off to the Danes to help them in their battles. Their main problem is a monster named Grendel who Beowulf ends up defeating later in the epic. Beowulf defeats him with ease, causing Grendel "horrible shieks of pain and defeat, the tears torn out of Grendel's taut throat, hell's captive caught in the arms of him who of all the men on earth was the strongest." (Elements of Literature 34) This shows the trait of Beowulf becoming the epic hero and defeating monsters throughout the story with his supernatural abilities. He is considered the bravest and strongest warrior in the world and helps the Danes by traveling on a long quest to gain fame and fortune. His main trophy from defeating Grendel is that he rips his arm off and puts above the mead hall doors. These achievements for his society show that he is a larger than life hero and really changes the lives for the Danes and their leader Hrothgar.

Many of the literary devices used in Beowulf form it into the epic it is. Kennings, alliteration, and similes play a large part and really help define the story and make it unique. An example of a kenning used was when Wulfgar described the "battle-shields" (Elements of Literature 25) The literary tropes used really define the story and help give it the feel of an epic.

Beowulf is still read today because the story is very long compared to other stories of its time and is the first recorded English literary masterpiece. Through its unique storytelling and various features of the epic story, many kids find the story interesting and readable. Beowulf is a larger than life hero that saves the Danes and through exciting storytelling shows that old literature is very intriguing and lures readers in of all ages.

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