The Shaping Styles of Beowulf What literary devices are contained in Beowulf? This essay relates many of the literary devices in Beowulf as well as giving an insight into character analysis.

Essay by drewpowell12High School, 12th gradeA, January 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 92 times

The world is not really round, but flat. At least that is what the Anglo-Saxons in the era in which Beowulf is written believe. Forsaken ideology continues with the belief in their indomitable heroes. The unknown author of Beowulf relates this message by foiling the characters Beowulf and Unferth using devices in addition to exploiting the plot.

"A monster seized me, drew me swiftly toward the bottom, swimming with its claws tight in my chest." Through Beowulf's version of the what happened while swimming with Brecca, the author uses anastrophy with the repetition of the letter "s" to not only help with rhyme but also to stress the seriousness of what Beowulf experiences. Unlike Unferth, Beowulf experiences many difficulties eventually proving himself; as a result of Unferth's jealous ridiculing, Beowulf relates the story of swimming with Brecca and how he triumphs over the sea. By using alliteration the author emphasizes Unferth's bitter distaste of Beowulf again in lines 246-248, "With Brecca at your side you swam along the sea-paths, your swift moving hands pulling you over the ocean's face."

How big an impact the repetition of the letter "s" contributes; it is as a serpent lashing out with its tongue. Although alliteration helps prove the hatred between Unferth and Beowulf, still other devices are needed to achieve a completion to Beowulf.

The kenning brings not only visual images to the reader but also symbolism. In line 247, the author compares the surface of the sea to the ocean's face. The symbolism of this kenning relates to how there is always someone watching. In line 261, additionally, Unferth conveys how he believes Beowulf's luck has finally run out because the "fiercest of demons" can find him asleep in Herot's Hall. This statement shows Unferth's hatred as...