Discuss Beowulf as an epic, and what epic features it has.
clairewait | Certified Educator
First consider the elements of an epic:
- long narrative in elevated style
- main character is a hero who is often on a journey and possesses almost god-like characteristics
- action in epics often involve a battle or multiple battles
- presence of supernatural beings (monsters, demons, non-human enemies -usually-)
- often contain long speeches
Given the above qualities, consider how Beowulf fits:
- Beowulf is a long narrative first written in Old English - but even translated is certainly written in verse form, with lots of alliteration, caesura, and kennings
- main character: Beowulf, who possess superhuman qualities
- Beowulf defeats 3 monsters in huge battles
- three monsters are all non-human
- reflective speeches abound in Beowulf - from historic remembrances to honoring kings and kingdoms.