What Makes Beowulf An Epic Poem Ap Literature Essay

700 words - 3 pages

Damewood 1
Damewood 2
Damewood 3
Claire Damewood
Mr. Ramseyer
College Prep English
6 November 2018
Epic Elements of Beowulf
The story of Beowulf is a story that takes you back a few hundred years. This is a story, not of a mere man, but a savior and a god to his people. There are three key epic elements of a hero that are shown in Beowulf. These are his superhuman abilities, his willingness to sacrifice his life for others, and the difficult challenges he faces in order to show his bravery.
Beowulf is not a mere human being, he is a god compared to men. He has incredible powers both physically and mentally when it comes to fighting. This is shown in the first fight scene when Grendel, “the captain of evil discovered himself in a handgrip harder than anything he had ever encountered in any man" (1023). Beowulf is so incredibly strong that even Grendel, the monster that an entire town couldn't kill, couldn't believe his strength throughout the battle. Beowulf is a mighty warrior, but he is still a average man and enjoys normal things just as everyone else. Even back home he still enjoyed swimming just as any other man would. But this isn't just any swimming he would swim great distances in waters swarmed with sea monsters like it is an easy task for him and in his own words he tells us that he is “the strongest swimmer of all" (920). Due to Beowulf's inhuman strength, he is able to swim through the rough water and fight monsters like its nothing.
Throughout the poem Beowulf displays his willingness to sacrifice his life for the better of his people. Beowulf cared a great deal about his people and believed that the common people deserved "his God-given” gifts whether “young or old” (1550), he always made sure his people were safe. Once he even gifted all of his people his treasures he had come by just to show his appreciation to them. He didn't just give them wealth too, he gave his life for them. When...

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