Beowulf's Unreliable Argument Essay

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The epic poem Beowulf has an unreliable narrator, for instance the whole poem is convenient for Beowulf, there is no evidence or proof to back up claims made in the poem and the poem contradicts itself. The poem is convenient for the main character Beowulf in which everything seems to work out for him. The narrator glorifies Beowulf in the story to seem like a God who knows everything and can fight any monster. But, in some instances the poem Beowulf can also contradict itself by using Pagan and Christian references in the same poem. Consequently, Beowulf has an unreliable narrator that is mistaken about the poem and is not internationally unreliable. Beowulf has an unreliable narrator because the whole story is too convenient for Beowulf …show more content…
But there is no one else to prove that except for himself. To prove that something happened you have to have evidence and proof. There are no witnesses in the Battle with Grendel's mom or evidence to show that he killed her. Also, in the swimming match with Brecca there was no one to prove that Beowulf got attacked by nine monsters and Brecca didn’t. Beowulf boasting about how many monsters he killed, “Lucky or not, nine was the number of sea-huge monsters I killed”(Raffel 307-308). Since Beowulf was the only one in that part of the sea, there was no evidence or witnesses to prove his claim. A lot of times narrators aren’t unreliable on purpose they are just misinformed about the truth. For instance, there were many different authors of Beowulf because it was an oral story. When stories get passed down they change because everyone has bias and everyone interprets things differently. Olson states that, “By contrast, fallible narrators do not reliably report on narrative events because they are mistaken about their judgements or perceptions or are biased”(101). It is not the narrator's fault they are unreliable, it's the situation they are in that makes these circumstances. In the end, there is no evidence or witnesses to prove the claims of Beowulf or the narrator which leads to the story contradicting …show more content…
Another factor that makes it difficult to determine if it is unreliable or not is that the poem is fiction and a work of fiction can be anything you want it to be. The ways I found the poem to be unreliable was that the whole poem is convenient for one character, Beowulf, and the story only has one point of view. There is no evidence to back up any of the claims made by the narrator. Another factor that contributed to the unreliability of the poem is that the narrator contradicts him or herself by including christian and pagan references in the story. Moreover Beowulf has an unreliable narrator, who has a misconception about the epic poem by it being too convenient for Beowulf, having no evidence and contradicting

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