Date: Beowulf is an epic poem. You studied epic poetry in English 9 when you studied The Odyssey. Odysseus is the epic heroin that Greek epic, and Beowulf is the epic hero in our Anglo-Saxon epic. With this assignment, I want you to explore some of the characteristics of both epic poetry and the epic hero. Use your notes on the movie Beowulf to help you find examples of the following items.
I. Epic Poem—An epic poem is a long narrative poem featuring the fantastic deeds (actions) of a larger-than-life hero whose traits and actions reflect those valued by his culture and whose actions affect the fate of an entire nation. The action covers vast settings (a large area or numerous places), and the language of the poem is formal and elevated.
Example From Your BeowulfNotes
What ACTIONS does Beowulf engage in that are unbelievable, incredibly important, life-changing, or life-saving? What aspects of the poem seem supernatural?
How is Beowulf better, stronger, faster, smarter, etc., than a regular person?
traits and actions reflect those valued by his culture
What aspects of Beowulf’s character or personality are traits that the Anglo-Saxons value? When you list the trait, also provide an example of when in the story Beowulf exhibits this trait!
fate of an entire nation
How does Beowulf SAVE a nation? What does he do that keeps them from perishing?
Does the action take place in more than one locale?
formal and elevated
Epic poetry would be recited at formal occasions and feasts.
II. Epic Hero—An epic hero has well-known and has high social position. He is strong, courageous, and clever, but he also has human weaknesses.