? Explicating Beowulf ENG/306 Explicating Beowulf Beowulf is an epic poem that has been relayed through the many years of storytelling. Beowulf is epic because of the love and heroism in the poem. Beowulf is a true hero and the poem expresses that. The focus of this paper is to explain and support the interpretation of the poem along with the relationship between the form and content of the poem and the expectations of Beowulf and how it should be in the medieval century and the context of society. Relationship between Form and Content
Beowulf is by far one of the most epic poems. This poem is long. Not a lot of poems are long most of the time they are short. But the writer of Beowulf had intentions for it to be long and well written. The poem was written in Old English and known to be one of the longest remaining European poems. The story focuses on Beowulf’s youthful venture into Denmark defeating Grendel because The King of Danes asked him to. The second portion narrates the later life of Beowulf which includes the fight with a Dragon.
The poem may have been composed somewhere in England and other authors are not sure of how many authors wrote the poem. The poem was estimated to be written around the date of the characters death around 521 AD and 1026 AD which is when the supposed manuscript was written. The poem was written in the Anglo-Saxon period. The beginning of the poem gives the reader an attempt to get the overview of the poem. (Slade, 2003). Interpretation Beowulf has a variety of different interpretations.
The poem has preconceived with the idea of style, point of view, and metre. There have been misinterpretations and misconceptions of the narrative. (Fr. Klaeber, 1905) The poems main focus is how much of a hero Beowulf really is. He is the perfect hero. As you read the poem Beowulf is always being described as a youthful warrior who becomes a hero in three different scenarios. One was fighting Grendel, destroying the dragon and has conflict with Grendel’s mother. Beowulf in the end is a heroic hero and a reliable king.
According to Ferguson (2005), “Epic is a long narrative poem, frequently extending to several “books” (sections of several hundred lines, on a great and serious subject” (Ferguson, 2005, Versification p. 2027). Beowulf defines being Epic. It is a long poem that narrates his life of how Beowulf became a hero. Beowulf uses alliteration in the poem According to Ferguson (2005), “Alliteration is the repetition of speech sounds, vowels, or more usually consonants in a sequence. The Old English metrical system has been occasionally revived in more recent times as for Heaney’s translation of Beowulf (p. )” (Ferguson, 2005, Versification p. 2029) Expectations of Beowulf and how it should be in the Medieval Century in Society Beowulf felt the need for a challenge the love he had and the things he did made him a hero. He had strength, courage, and abilities to make him a heroic hero. Beowulf is considered a Nordic Hero. (Hammett, n. d. ). Hammett expresses (n. d. ), “The epic of Beowulf is largely dedicated to scenes of war, and the plot represents well an early emphasis on combat and the supernatural.
The legend depicts a kingdom under siege in which the offensive party is not man or nation but beast. Beowulf kills the monster Grendel, and keeps the creature’s arm as a symbol of victory. The warrior fights the monster force again when Grendel’s mother tries to avenge her son’s death. Finally, after a life of fame and renown, Beowulf is killed while trying to slay a dragon, and he is laid to rest upon a hero’s funeral pyre by the sea” (The Men About Town: The Characterization and Socialization of the Medieval Hero).
In the end Beowulf is an epic poem that can be read over and over again. Beowulf is the perfect example of the perfect hero. Beowulf has strength, courage, and the ability to be there for his kingdom. Beowulf follows a narrative that tells his heroic journey that made him the hero of his Nordic culture. Beowulf defines being epic and is such a great poem that it can still be read today and still can live on in all cultures. References Ferguson, M. , Salter, M. J. , & Stallworthy, J. (Eds. ). (2005).
The Norton anthology of poetry (5th ed. ). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company Fr. Klaeber Modern Philology Vol. 3, No. 2 (Oct. , 1905), pp. 235-265 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www. jstor. org/stable/432516 Hammett, S. L. (n. d. ). The Men About Town: The Characterization and Socialization of the Medieval Hero. Retrieved from http://history. hanover. edu/hhr/hhr4-4. html Slade, B. (2003). Beowulf on Steorarume. Retrieved from http://www. heorot. dk/beowulf-vorwort. html