Beowulf Analysis

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While reading the epic tale of the almighty, brave Beowulf, readers are forced to ask themselves questions regarding the reliability of the story. In these types of stories literature, “readers are required to do more ‘detective’ work to determine whether a narrator is trustworthy or not” (Olsen 104). The tale of the almighty warrior Beowulf can be hard to believe due to because of its use of an unreliable narrator. In the epic poem Beowulf, the third person omniscient narrator can be seen as unreliable due to their description of Beowulf’s battles including the information they have given which is known by no character. However, these extreme conditions in the story may seem natural in the supernatural setting of the poem. Although the…show more content…
The narrator told the story of Beowulf’s loss only to contradict himself by stating that Beowulf won. They make it seem as if Beowulf cannot be defeated, then states that he has been, and finishes with a realization that he was not defeated. This can be extremely confusing for the reader to understand which poses a question: is the narrator truly reliable? The almighty Beowulf fought many battles in many extreme conditions against many vicious and unwarranted monsters. Throughout these battles, it seems as if Beowulf should have been defeated; however, he discovers some sort of hidden talent or magic power he possesses to defeat the monsters. For example, during his battle with Grendel’s mother “battle with Grendel’s mother quote” (). This is very unbelieveable; it seems too convenient that just as Beowulf is struggling to defeat a monster he discovers a new magic talent. There is the idea that the narrator is reliable; however, due to the fact that this is a fiction poem, the supernatural occurrences in the story may be completely natural in the setting of the story. Because Beowulf is a fiction poem, the narrator can be seen as reliable. The plot of the story consists of many supernatural elements such as Beowulf’s magic sword and his shirt that protected him from Grendel’s mother. However, these characteristics are unreliable and fallible because there is no way to prove that

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