Saturday 25 May 2019

Consider Beowulf as an epic notes

All epic is a long narrative poem dealing with some acts of heroism or heroic personalities. It is a kind of heroic poetry essentially idealistic in concept and tone .

It is a matter of controversy whether Beowulf can be placed in the category of such authentic and established epic like the Iliad and the Odyssey or whether can compared with Milton's "paradise lost".Read more Consider Beowulf as an epic notes

Beowulf ,epic, poem

Beowulf as an epic Poem

Beowulf as an epic notes

Basic requisite for an epic:

According to Aristotle there are three basic  requisite for an epic. The unity of action.what he means actually is that the different legends and incidents in the epic must converge to a single theme. He also meant that the plot of the epic should be one complete whole and implies that an epic must treat some noble and heroic performance worthy to be remembered by the subsequent generations.

Beowulf ,however does not satisfy fully all these Aristation requirements of the epic poetry, If we certainly looks the unity of action because it is made of two distinct narratives.

On the first place, there is the encounter of Beowulf with Grendal.

On the second place, there is the account of Beowulf heroic struggle with a dragon.

Beowulf as an epic poems


These two incidents are entirely detached from each other and might have formed two different poems.

In Beowulf , there is no unity of action , there is no central action in it as the two narratives of Beowulf's like are absolutely separate. As a matter of fact , the poem looks more like a collection of heroic episodes than like an organic epic.Click here for Renaissance Period

The third characteristics of an epic relates to the magnitude of action . Beowulf, however , can hardly claim to the greatness of action that we can find in the classical epics like the Illiad and the Odyssey or in paradise lost . The epic merely relates Beowulf's conflict with the monster and dragons. It does not depict the working of some mighty destiny around which an epic should revolve.Read more about Anglo Saxon literature and poetry.

Beowulf as an epic poem

Beowulf as an epic poem

There are some others factors which may be mentioned to show that Beowulf is not an epic in the true sense of the word. The length of the poem is not sufficient to fulfill the demand of an epic. A poem of three thousand Beowulf also has   very few Similies which are considered essential to any epic poetry. Lastly , Beowulf lacks the grand style of Homer and Virgil and John Milton.Read more Consider Beowulf as an epic notes.

Beowulf epic poem

Beowulf as an epic poem

Nevertheless , the claim of Beowulf , to be considered as an epic cannot be altogether ignored  . It has some true marks of epic poetry . Beowulf deals with the achievement of a heroic personality. It satisfies the crude form of epic that all incidents and legends , must revolve around some heroic personality. Beowulf is a fine specimen of primitive heroic poetry , and if an epic is an example of heroic poetry , then , Beowulf fulfills a condition of epic poetry . Although there are two separate narratives breaking the unity of action it may be said that these two narratives are related to one heroic character  i.e , Beowulf thus , through the hero an indirect unity is achieved.Read about Anglo Norman Literature

Beowulf as an epic poem notes

Beowulf as an epic 

Beowulf might lack the magnitude of action or Homeric or Miltonic epics. Yet , In Beowulf's valiant combat and in his heroic death the greatness of an action is perceived. Read John Donne as a metaphysical poet.

Consider Beowulf as an epic notes : Although Beowulf is a poem with a very few epic Similies , it is not altogether deprived of the grandeur of epic poetry . In the vigour of action and in the extent of imagination , Beowulf attempts high level of art. Some of the actions in this poem remains the Unforbidable pieces of epic poetry. On the faithful representation of the life and manners of primitive People, Beowulf has a touch of the genuine epic or a kind of social epic.

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