Beowulf, Qualities Of An Epic Poem - English Literature - Essay

1500 words - 6 pages

Qualities of an Epic Poem
In Partial
Requirements for
Senior English IV
Ms. Irina Abramov
Jessica Velasquez
November 7 , 2018
What is a hero? When we read stories and sometimes poems, there is usually a hero
involved and how they became to be and what makes them so great. Have you ever heard of a
hero that was able to do things that other heros couldn't do, like fight dragons or big monsters, or
go underwater for multiple days? Well there was one hero that could, Beowulf. Over 1,000 years
ago, poems or books were not written in english yet, but Beowulf was the first poem that was
written in english. Beowulf was created to tell a story about a Hero that could do the impossible
to save the world and be known as the Hero that cannot be stopped and have a legacy after he’s
gone. Beowulf is known for being an epic poem, but there are many qualities of one. Three
major qualities of an epic poem are actions of the hero; impact a nation, supernatural beings and
long journeys, and hero performs courageous deeds.
In the beginning of the poem, we get to learn where beowulf is from which is Sweden or
better known as the Geats and how he hears about a city that is in danger, which is Denmark. He
hears how the king of Denmark, Hrothgar is having trouble with a big monster called Grendel
and is killing Hrothgar’s men and wants to help right away without thinking about anything.
During this part of Beowulf, we get to see Actions of an hero and how he as an impact on the
nation. Beowulf goes to Denmark to see this monster and wants to see if he’s actually this big
bad monster that people say. So beowulf stays at Herot which is a hall in Denmark and waits for
the Grendel, then he shows up and kills many of the geats and danes but beowulf fights him and
rips his arm off and grendel runs away scared. “ From that happy pilgrimage, mounted their
hard-hooved horses, high-spirited stallions, and rode them slowly toward Herot again, retelling
Beowulf’s bravery as they jogged along” ​(​ln​. ​854-857 pg. 38​). ​This demonstrates a quality of an
epic poem because it shows how the hero is impacting the nation by doing things that many
heroes can not. Another action of a hero that beowulf does is after killing Grendel, Hrothgar is so
thankful that he gives him treasure and gold and hangs up grendel's arm to show the world that
Beowulf can kill anyone that goes to herot and nothing can stop him. “After a life spent in
seeking what was right for my people is this: this prince of the Geats, Beowulf was born a better
man! your fame is everywhere, my friend reaches to the ends of the earth and you hold it in your
heart wisely.” ( ln.​ ​1701-1705 pg.72​). ​This shows how the hero is having an impact on the nation
and people can see it which makes this poem an epic poem.
During the second part of the poem is when another monster comes to get revenge for
grendel, and that is no one better than his mother. She’s bigger and stronger than grendel and

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