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Oral Tradition Poetry Epic Form
story of Beowulf, an epic heros journey set in Denmark and Sweden, in the sixth century. "To Beowulf now the glory was given, and
are epitomized, as well as how they endure within their most supreme existence, Beowulf also displays various sociological and humanistic tendencies that are not often recognized in the traditional telling.
of King Hrothgar in defeating a man-eating monster, Grendel, who is terrorizing his people and killing his warriors each night. There is, likewise, a similar threat to King Hrothgars people.
and Njals Saga (written in the thirteenth century) - revenge and the law are the primary themes that link each tale. They reveal much about the pagan era and
the eighth century A.D. He was a rather nomadic warrior, who would fight battles for country that needed his services. He was particularly close to King Hrothgar of
text, a supernatural force, and the celebration of the hero. Structurally speaking, an epic is "a long narrative poem on a great and serious subject" (Lucas). A primary epic
great mead-hall Heorot, which is ruled by Hrothgar. Section VIII of the poem pictures Beowulf addressing the assembly and bragging extravagantly about his own brave, skill and heroism. He says,
Aeneas is bound by the heroic values of a warrior class. However, while Aeneas first inclination is to fight the invading Greeks, he is presented with portents and powerful visual
serve the king and save the Danes, who appear to be senselessly slaughtered. He may have been drafted into the contest, but he undertakes the task as his own.
ago a hero was most likely male and invincible. Heroes were the real deal then. They were strong and manly and although they were allowed to express emotion, they were
existed between a warrior and his "thane," that is, his liege lord. The concept of thane is not precisely synonymous with "king," as the relationship is founded on mutual feelings
a hero with the strength of thirty men in his hand...against monsters" (Lee 239). In a famous 1936 lecture on Beowulf, Tolkien presented a rhetorically powerfully call for scholars and
Hygd, Freawaru, Hildeburh, Thryth and the monster Grendels mother. Most of these women seldom venture beyond conventional stereotypes of being caregivers, hostesses or keepers of the peace. Only
a more contemporary context so that readers can relate to the tale, the characters, and the conflict, instead of merely struggling to understand the Medieval English that reads more like
chronicle their initial assessment of one another. The Queen also has her say on the matter. Historically speaking, what these sections serve to do is show the importance of