Beowulf As An Epic Poem

1940 WordsMar 30, 20158 Pages
Beowulf as an Epic Poem Beowulf is a legendary Old English poem believed to have been written in the eighth or ninth century. Though its origin is unclear and its author is unknown this poem has continued through time. Portions of the original transcript have been lost with the passing of time and many translations of the work have been made. Each version of the work one aspect has remained the same, its hero. In all versions of the poem the hero is characterized by his impressive strength, bravery and loyalty. These traits make an epic hero. Beowulf can be defined as a true epic because the work and its main character exhibit the characteristics of an epic poem and hero, making it the subject of numerous translations. Beowulf is the oldest surviving Germanic epic as well as the most important poem written in Old English. The story and its hero are fiction, yet there are historical elements through the poem. There is certainly a great deal of Germanic history incorporated in the poem. Whether Beowulf was a real man or not, his character fit invariably into the context of his society. Many of the poem’s characters were real: The Geat king, Hygelac, Hrothgar, and others. Also, the Ravenswood battle which took place in 510AD is true. The poem is believed to have been composed as early as 700, and that an oral version of the poem was composed even earlier. The poem was retold through a significant period of time before it was written down. The retellings caused the story to

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