preview

Beowulf Narrator Analysis

Decent Essays
The story of Beowulf has an unreliable narrator because the story is very one-sided with every battle being convenient for the protagonist Beowulf. The narrator glorifies Beowulf in the story to seem like a God who knows everything and can fight any monster. Even though, the narrator is unreliable doesn’t mean they are untrustworthy because there is consistency in the story. The story Beowulf can also contradict itself by using Pagan and Christian references in the same story. Consequently, Beowulf has an unreliable narrator who is fallible and makes mistakes based on character flaws and not untrustworthiness. Beowulf has an unreliable narrator because the whole story is too convenient for Beowulf in that he has everything work out for…show more content…
This could also be true because there could have been different authors because the story was originally an oral story so that could change the narration because of the many authors. 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). In the end, there is no evidence to prove the claims of Beowulf or the narrator. The third reason that Beowulf has unreliable narration is that parts of the story contradicts itself. Parts of the story reference God and christian references and other parts reference pagan elements. This could partly be contributed to the multiple authors of the story who could have their own opinions on religion. The christian references include, “Conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God, punished forever for the crime of Abel’s death”(Raffel 20-24). The Pagan references include, “And sometimes they sacrificed to the old stone gods…”(Raffel 90). It can be the situation of the narrator that makes them unreliable not their characteristics. For example, there were many narrators in the story and they could have influence on the story and have different references to different things. Olson writes, “ I believe that readers regard the mistakes of fallible narrators as being situationally motivated” (102). In
Get Access