Beowulf: An Epic Hero

Essay by shooting_starHigh School, 11th grade November 2006

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Beowulf was an epic story written over 1000 years ago. Stories have to be in a certain form in order to be considered an epic. First of all epics started out just being stories passed from generation to generation to pass the time. However, as years went by they were used to show morals, teach lessons, and still to entertain the audience in even more ways. Beowulf is a perfect example of an epic. In the earlier years it was told just to tell, but now it is used to not only tell a story but to teach lessons and rules about life.

The outline that Beowulf had to fit into is not too hard to follow. Epics are usually long narrative poems told in heightened language, and deals with a larger than life character battling an extraordinary monster. With the original copy of Beowulf written in old English, it had to be rewritten in modern English so we could understand the heightened language they spoke back then.

Although, it does still contain old English phrases such as, "Behind some broad linden shield/...this mead-hall glittering/Light and life fleeing together"(172,218,148). Another characteristic of an epic poem is the long narrative story. Beowulf exemplifies this characteristic because it is over 840 lines long and tells the story of a young hero named Beowulf on a journey to destroy a monster.

The character of Beowulf is extremely strong and admired by all. This is a key characteristic to a story being an epic. Beowulf is praised by the king, his soldiers, and the townspeople. They show their praises by holding a banquet for him and saying, "But to table, Beowulf, a banquet in your honor:Let us toast your victories, and talk of the future"(223-224). Beowulf is all about helping and winning the...