Beowulf as Epic

823 WordsFeb 14, 20134 Pages
What makes an epic? Is Beowulf an epic?    What is an epic poem, and how does it differ from other kinds of poetry or storytelling? How have epic poems traditionally been transmitted from generation to generation? How do tellers remember these long and complicated stories? According to Robert Harris’s Glossary of Literary Terms, he defines an epic as the following: Epic. An extended narrative poem recounting actions, travels, adventures, and heroic episodes and written in a high style (with ennobled diction, for example). It may be written in hexameter verse, especially dactylic hexameter, and it may have twelve books or twenty four books. Characteristics of the classical epic include these:        The main character or…show more content…
9. BEOWULF is set in a male-dominated world full of violence and danger. What role does patriarchal history play in this world? Why does it matter to the warriors who their ancestors were? 10. How is BEOWULF structured? How does this structure relate to the theme or themes of the work as a whole? 11. What role does the mead-hall play in Anglo-Saxon warrior culture? What is the proper relationship between a lord and his warriors? What examples can you find throughout Beowulf? 12. What is the role of women in the heroic culture of Beowulf? 13. How does treasure function in Beowulf? How do the characters and the poet seem to feel about the element of gold, as it appears throughout the poem? 14. What role do the digressions play in Beowulf? What light do they shed on the main action? 15. Is Beowulf an ideal hero and king? Is there anything lacking in his character? 16. Would you say that the characters in Beowulf are as psychologically complex those in modern works of literature? Do they undergo any development as the poem progresses? References (APA) Harris, Robert(2010). A Glossary of LIteratary Terms. Retrieved 27 December 2011.

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