Asked by: Sameh Ruisaenz
books and literature poetry

What makes Beowulf an epic poem?

Last Updated: 10th April, 2020

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Some of the main criteria points include being a long, narrative poem, having an epic hero, and containing rhythm, alliteration, and imagery. Beowulf can be considered an epic because it contains all of this criteria. Beowulf's first accomplishment as an epic hero was his battle with Grendel.

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People also ask, how is Beowulf considered an epic?

Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in medias res or simply, "in the middle of things," which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity.

Furthermore, why is Beowulf not an epic poem? Beowulf always thought of himself as the best and that no one could defeat him, that nothing could defeat him. Beowulf was a great warrior but he was no hero. Beowulf was not a hero because he wanted fame for his deeds, was born a noble, and only thought about himself. Beowulf wanted fame and fortune for his deeds.

Similarly one may ask, what makes an epic poem?

An epic is a long, often book-length, narrative in verse form that retells the heroic journey of a single person or a group of persons. Elements that typically distinguish epics include superhuman deeds, fabulous adventures, highly stylized language, and a blending of lyrical and dramatic traditions.

What makes a story an epic?

The word epic is derived from the Ancient Greek adjective, “epikos”, which means a poetic story. In literature, an epic is a long narrative poem, which is usually related to heroic deeds of a person of an unusual courage and unparalleled bravery.

Related Question Answers

Ximena Tapesh

Professional

Is Grendel Beowulf's son?

Heardred Despite Beowulf's support, the young king, son of Hygelac and Hygd, is killed in a feud. Beowulf then becomes king of the Geats. Grendel A descendant of the biblical Cain, the enormous ogre despises mankind's joy. He menaces Hrothgar and the Danes for 12 years before facing Beowulf in battle.

Andre Ramsthaler

Professional

What are the characteristics of an epic?

Epics have seven main characteristics:
  • The hero is outstanding.
  • The setting is large.
  • The action is made of deeds of great valour or requiring superhuman courage.
  • Supernatural forces—gods, angels, demons—insert themselves in the action.
  • It is written in a very special style (verse as opposed to prose).

Harun Aves

Professional

How long is Beowulf?

More than 3,000 lines long, Beowulf relates the exploits of its eponymous hero, and his successive battles with a monster named Grendel, with Grendel's revengeful mother, and with a dragon which was guarding a hoard of treasure.

Zhongyi Buschemann

Explainer

How is Beowulf structured?

Beowulf is loosely divided into three parts, each of which centers around Beowulf's fight with a particular monster: first Grendel, then Grendel's mother, then the dragon. Alternatively, one might make a division of the text into two parts, examining youth and old age as the two distinctive phases of Beowulf's life.

Lucita Multakh

Explainer

Mikel Zhabitsky

Explainer

Is Beowulf a Viking?

Beowulf was identified as a Geat which was a Viking culture that originated in Sweden. A Viking culture known as the Danes found in Denmark. In the poem Beowulf there was a place mentioned many times which was the mead-hall.

Romario Erba

Pundit

Does Beowulf begin in medias res?

In media res. Definition: A story that starts in the middle. Example: Beowulf starts in the middle as it does not talk about the beginning of Grendel and Beowulf its starts in a certain of their lifetime.

Qiuhua Segrewe

Pundit

What are the themes of Beowulf?

Much of Beowulf is devoted to articulating and illustrating the Germanic heroic code, which values strength, courage, and loyalty in warriors; hospitality, generosity, and political skill in kings; ceremoniousness in women; and good reputation in all people.

Noe Bouzo

Pundit

What are the 2 types of epics?

Whatever can be said of all that, the Iliad and the Odyssey are two very different kinds of epics. The Iliad, which tells the story of the wrath of Achilles in the last year or so of the war, has been called an epic of kleos or the attempt to gain glory through valor in combat.

Fernando Borsdorf

Pundit

What is the best definition for an epic?

1 : a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero the Iliad and the Odyssey are epics. 2 : a work of art (such as a novel or drama) that resembles or suggests an epic.

Salahdin Potier

Pundit

What are examples of epics?

Famous examples of epic poetry include the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, the ancient Indian Mahabharata and Rāmāya?a, the Tamil Silappatikaram, the Persian Shahnameh, the Ancient Greek Odyssey and Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, the Old English Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy, the Finnish Kalevala, the German Nibelungenlied, the

Daouya IpiƱazar

Teacher

What are the 6 elements of an epic poem?

6 Elements of an Epic Poem
  • Plot centers around a Hero of Unbelievable Stature. The epic hero completes what everyone only attempts.
  • Involves deeds of superhuman strength and valor (bravery)
  • Vast Setting.
  • Involves supernatural and or otherworldly forces.
  • Sustained elevation of style.
  • Poet remains objective and omniscient.
  • Elements of an Epic Poem.

Uyi Fernandez Hijicos

Teacher

What is the structure of an epic poem?

An epic is a long, often book-length, narrative in verse form that retells the heroic journey of a single person, or group of persons. Elements that typically distinguish epics include superhuman deeds, fabulous adventures, highly stylized language, and a blending of lyrical and dramatic traditions.

Graham Henklein

Teacher

What are the 6 elements of an epic?

There are six elements of every epic:
  • Legendary Hero. The protagonist is very famous during his lifetime.
  • Superhuman Strength, Bravery and Adventure.
  • Expansive Settings.
  • Supernatural Elements.
  • Omniscient Narrator.
  • Exaggerated Writing Style.

Surjeet Hochgreve

Teacher

How do you recognize an epic?

Six Elements Of The Epic:
  1. Plot centers around a Hero of Unbelievable Stature. The epic hero completes what everyone only attempts.
  2. Involves deeds of superhuman strength and valor.
  3. Vast Setting.
  4. Involves supernatural and-or otherworldly forces.
  5. Sustained elevation of style.
  6. Poet remains objective and omniscient.

Sumaira Aranaga

Reviewer

How do you format an epic poem?

Part 2 Outlining and Drafting the Epic Poem
  1. Create an outline of your epic poem's plot. Since an epic poem is so long, it is helpful to outline the action of your story before you begin writing it.
  2. Draft your poem based on the outline.
  3. Include epithets to describe the characters.
  4. Make your epic poem as long as you want.

Amador Alpern

Reviewer

Do epic poems have to rhyme?

Does Epic Poetry Have a Rhyming Scheme? The epic, a subgenre of narrative poetry, does not have a particular rhyme scheme. Instead, it's characterized by three main features, according to M. H. Abrams' “Glossary of Literary Terms.”

Tiberiu Krathwohl

Reviewer

Is Beowulf a hero or villain?

Beowulf is portrayed as the hero of the epic poem Beowulf (c1200), although he is in reality the villain. Throughout the poem the poet, who is unknown, believes Beowulf to be a hero because of his strength and loyalty to his people.

Sayra Kreitmeir

Reviewer

Is Beowulf arrogant?

Beowulf fights Grendel with confidence and he is not scared. The fight with Grendel's mother humbles him. When Beowulf fights Grendel he shows selflessness, loyalty, arrogance, and confidence. The news of Grendel terrorizing the Danes reached Beowulf and his selflessness and loyalty began to show.