Beowulf an Epic Poem

             An epic poem is “a long narrative poem in elevated style presenting characters of high position in a series of adventures which form and organic whole through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation or race” (handout: Epic). An epic consists of six characteristics: The first characteristic is that the “hero is a figure of imposing stature and a great historical or legendary significance” (handout: Epic). Second is based on the setting and the fact that it is “vast in scope”. Thirdly the “action must consist of deeds of great valor or requiring superhuman courage” (handout: Epic). The fourth characteristics deal with supernatural forces, meaning Gods, angels and demons. The fifth one consists of the “style of sustained elevation and grand simplicity” (handout: Epic). Lastly, the epic poem recounts the deeds of his heroes with objectivity. “Beowulf” by Burton Raffel (the person who translated the book) portrays the six characteristics of an epic poem; therefore, making Beowulf and epic poem.
             In “Beowulf,” Beowulf is considered the hero who has a figure of high status. He is looked up upon by everyone, for his courage in fighting demons and protecting the people from evil. When Beowulf heard that there was a monster named Grendel terrorizing Herot, he got a crew of 14 men including himself, rode to Herot and fought and killed Grendel. “ …this is one favor you should not refuse me…I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall…the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears non”(Language of literature # 38). By wanting to kill Grendel without any weapons proves the strength and faith he has in himself; proving, that God is by his side and God’s fate in Beowulf will help him fight Grendel and slay him. Yet, one of the greatest reasons as to why “Beowulf” is considered an epic poem is because it is a parallel t...

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Beowulf an Epic Poem. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:25, January 21, 2017, from