Is Beowulf an epic? What sort of social order produces “epic” poetry? What values does the poem promote, and how does it promote them? What sorts of conflicts with or resistances to the ideology of epic can be expressed? What sorts are found within the poem itself?

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Beowulf is an example of an epic poem. An epic is normally defined as a long narrative poem. Traditional epic evolves out of the need to preserve, pass down, and perform in easily memorable form the cultural heritage of a society.

Epic originated in oral traditional cultures, starting as an art form before the invention of writing. Even after writing was invented, in cultures with limited or scribal literacy, oral performance was still the most important way in which epics were transmitted over time and made accessible...

(The entire section contains 263 words.)

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