The Analysis and Comparison of the Themes of "Beowulf", "The Odyssey" and Other Related Epics

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An epic is best described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a long narrative

poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero. Epics like

"Beowulf" and "The Odyssey" are perfect examples of this definition; they are each

centered on the deeds and triumphs of their heroes, Beowulf and Odysseus. All epics are

similar in a way that they are made up of elements. One major element of the epic is its

themes. In all epics, the themes are what make and mold these narrative poems, they

descriptively outline the story. Most epics, like "Beowulf" and "The Odyssey", have

themes like battles, homecoming, identity, recognition etc. Through themes like these,

morals, values and traditions relating to the main
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Although, his wife Penelope did not know until he turns back to his

original being. Also, recognition is gained when Telemachus doubts that Odysseus is his

father. But, Odysseus eventually persuades Telemachus to accept him as his father. As

stated before, in Homer's epic, "an identity cannot be claimed until recognition of that

identity from others is claimed first".

Like "The Odyssey", "Beowulf" is also a legendary epic that includes the themes

identity, homecoming, battles and recognition as its primary focus. In "Beowulf", the

themes homecoming and recognition are very closely related. When Beowulf returns to

Geatland, he is greatly rewarded for his works. He reunites with King Hygelac and tells of

his great adventures. Recognition is shown by Beowulf giving most of his treasure

received to the King, and in return is awarded with treasure of his home from King

Hygelac. Beowulf was praised and glorified for his homecoming(s) to Geatland and his return from his victories over Grendel and his mother. He wasrecognized as a "true hero", an Anglo-Saxon hero to be exact. In "Beowulf", Kingdoms acknowledged Beowulf by showering him with treasures, feasts and celebrations. Like God, to the Geats and Danes, he was worthy of all praises. He earned his recognition. That's what the homecoming of a hero is all about, heroes being rewarded for their works and receiving the uttermost

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