Beowulf : An Epic Poem Essay

1860 Words Nov 21st, 2014 8 Pages
Beowulf, written in Old English sometime between the eighth and eleventh centuries, is an epic poem that reflects the early medieval warrior culture of Europe and is written by an unknown author. It is the oldest surviving important piece of literature and exists in only one manuscript known as British Library Cotton Vitellius A. 15 (Lazzari, 44). It is written in an unrhymed, four beat alliterative meter that was common for Old English poetry. Even though it was written in Britain, the action is set in Scandinavia and is mostly concerned with the Geats, Danes and Swedes. The poem follows the main character, Beowulf, from his noble youth to his courageous old age (Acocella). He saved a neighboring country from a horrendous monster named Grendel and later from Grendel’s ferocious mother, became the king of his own country and died there protecting his people from a fire-breathing dragon. He saved many people from being killed by these three monsters by putting his life on the line. In Beowulf, the four main characters are Beowulf, Grendel, Grendel’s mother and the dragon and if examined closely shows that they can have many different ways of being perceived. In epic poems there is always a main hero with the characteristics of strength, courage, high values, and also he or she normally battles monsters and accepts challenges; this is a perfect description of Beowulf. In his youth he was known as the strongest man in the world and it was said that the grip of his…

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