Epic Poetry and Beowulf
“The Epic Beowulf” Beowulf is an epic poem that takes place in early medieval warrior culture of Europe. An epic is a narrative poem containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Beowulf is a brave warrior. He ventures off to another land to help aide in defeating a demon/monster. Epics usually include war or combat one on one, as in the three battles featured in this poem. Beowulf shows his courage and skill by slaying Grendel without the use of a shield or sword. In lines (507-513) Beowulf states “I count myself weaker in war or grapple of battle than Grendel himself.
Therefore I scorn to slay him with sword deal deadly wound, as I well might do- nothing he knows of a noble fighting, of thrusting and hewing and hacking of shield. ” Beowulf is a well-known noble who fights evil. We could compare this to every day life situations. Cops versus bad guys. In lines (632-638) Beowulf says “I had a fixed purpose when I was put to sea. As I sat in the boat with my band of men, I meant to perform to the uttermost what your people wanted to perish in the attempt, in the fiends clutches.
And I shall fulfill that purpose, prove myself with a proud deed or meet my death here in the mead- hall. ” In current times of todays world men and women go out as police officers to serve and protect us. We can compare this story to current events. When he battles Grendel, his mother and the Dragon he demonstrates bravery and courage. Beowulf protected his culture until his death. It is said that the epic hero is on a quest for something of great value to him or his people. Epic heroes are known to be braver, stronger, smarter and clever then an ordinary person.
Beowulf was on a quest for something of great value to him or his people. Beowulf knew the consequences if he failed his mission. Beowulf’s courage pushed him to defeat Grendel and Grendel’s mother never fears to challenge. A line that is short but that best describes Beowulf is in line 340 “The man his name was known for courage. ” Epic stories usually feature boasting, as when Beowulf is provoked by his underthings, into boasting about his exploits as a youth. Later in epic we learned Beowulf is not only good when he battles but also he is generally a good moral person.
In lines 2177-2170 proves he was a moral person in stating “Thus Beowulf bore himself with valour he was formidable in battle yet behaved with honor and took no advantage. ” Epic stories contain tragic deaths, as in the tragic death of Beowulf himself. O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in Passmore 3 bloom but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow illness or the sword to lay you low, or a sudden fire or surge of water or jabbing blade or javelin from the air or repellent age.
Your piercing eye will dim and darken; and death will arrive, dear warrior, to sweep you away (1758–1768). This quote foretells Beowulf of his own death. Today’s epics are considered old English’s greatest work. This epic poem has meaning and symbolism. Beowulf does great deeds for others such as he helps the Danes against Grendel and his mother. Again this Epic poem can be seen in every day life. Life is a daily struggle. Beowulf faces challenge after challenge and yet still seems to keep fighting for the greater good.
Remember to make your life an epic story just like the one told in Beowulf. Know in your heart that at the end of the day you have done a heroic deed. Works Cited http://www. enotes. com/beowulf Enotes Editors. “ Enotes on Beowulf. ” Enotes. com/Beowulf 13 Sept. 2013 www. sparknotes. com/lit/beowulf SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Beowulf. ” SparkNotes. com. SparkNotes LLC. 2003. Web. 13 Sept. 2013. www. gradesaver. com/beowulf Grade Saver Editors. “Grade Saver on Beowulf. ” Gradesaver. com/Beowulf GradeSaver LLc. 13 Sept 2013. www. cummingsstudyguide. net/beowulf