beowulf – an epic poem

The story of Beowulf has been passed through many generations, but the story has still withheld a brilliant illustration of the Anglo Saxon period and has remained a true typical epic of it’s time. All heroic epics have the same elements which makes this particular style of literature stand out from others. There is the “supernatural element,” the “grand speeches,” a theme of the story, an elevated language, always a speech full of boasting, honor of the hero and his weapon are described, “warriors and battles.” The supernatural element is the element in the story that is above mankind. It could be a human with super strength or anything extraterrestrial, a monster, etc. Many grand speeches are made at the climax or turn of the story. There are often many warriors in heroic epics, both good and bad. The battles they have can occur at any given moment in the story. There is always a final battle at the end. Beowulf is a traditional epic poem. The ten main elements of an epic poem can be found throughout the entire story of Beowulf.

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The supernatural elements in the story are Beowulf and Grendel. Grendel is the evil infamous killer and Beowulf is the hero. King Horthgar’s town is being terrified by Grendel and they are in desperate need of someone to save them. It never said in the story, whether Grendel was a human being or not, but heroic epics often leave out background information. The story does mention that Grendel is the decedent of Cain, the first murderer. Grendel kills men and eats them. After many failing attempts by his army, King Hrothgar and his Meade hall is saved by Beowulf. The Dane meade hall, Herot, was the best one around but is still under the surveillance of Grendel. He killed whoever entered this zone at night. Beowulf was said to be the strongest man on earth and has killed giants. Grendel was unfazed by human weapons and his skin was unharmed by them. Any human brave enough to fight would have to engage in hand to hand combat with this giant in order to defeat him.



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