What makes Beowulf an epic poem?

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Epics focus on the achievements of a particular individual. In Beowulf, the reader or listener is given an opportunity to follow the events and heroic achievements of the protagonist in the poem. The poem revolves around the battles fought by Beowulf until his death.

Exaggeration is an important feature of epics because it highlights the supernatural abilities or prowess of the hero. Beowulf’s strength is supernatural, and he is able to defeat both Grendel and his mother with his bare hands. He is also able to dive and stay underwater for hours without any form of technological assistance.

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missmerrymack | Student

Beowulf is an epic poem not only for its incredible story, but it is the first documented written work in the English language. The author remains anonymous, as many tales were passed down through the generations orally. This epic tale has withstood the test of time as it is still being taught and analyzed throughout the world. Beowulf contains a legendary hero and nemesis. Monsters, witches, simple townsfolk, and a hero that defies the odds with style, wit and valour that continues to intrigue and inspire students and literary analysts alike. An epic poem has something new to offer the reader each time it is read. The heart of epic poetry offers something human and relatable in each of its characters. No matter how many years pass, the continuity of greatness remains in this classic poem.