The Epic Of Beowulf By William Shakespeare Essay

925 Words Sep 16th, 2016 4 Pages
Have you ever been told a story, any story, which somehow morphed into multiple stories at once? Suddenly, you appear to have 3 different sets of stories and you are unsure how they all fit together? It seems that you have read the epic poem Beowulf. One unique characteristic of Beowulf is that it contains multiple stories within stories. The epic uses this style for a number of different reasons. One reason is that it follows the oral tradition. Another reason is it was the history of the time, a way to continue on the stories of these early civilizations and societies. The last and most important reason is that the overall function that these stories within stories serve, is the help the audience have a better understanding and a different perspective of the character Beowulf. These stories help us to better understanding of the oral tradition, the history of the time, and Beowulf as a hero while also showing the importance of his character in this epic.

Before stories could be written down, they were passed down by one another by word of mouth. The oral tradition created an “assumed knowledge,” which meant that when you were told the story, you were already expected to know all the major players within that story. One of the reasons that Beowulf contains the stories within stories is because it follows the oral tradition. We see the assumed knowledge factor being practiced with the story of Queen Modthryth. The narrator provides the audience with the story of the Queen…

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