Anglo-Saxon Literature: The Epic Poem, Beowulf

ReginaJeffers's Blog

51kfpKNBB9L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Beowulf is the earliest English epic. The exact date of its origin is unknown, but likely before the 9th Century. So what is an epic poem? It is a narrative poem that centers upon the a great hero and upon the period of his life, which defines him as a hero. The epic has its beginnings in popular myths. Early on, the epics were sung by minstrels, and they boast many of the characteristics of a cyclical ballad. In the epic, the hero performs deeds of valor for the sake of glory, rather than for reward. Formed from myths and folk tales, the epic customarily omits historical facts. It often includes mystery and romance and more than a bit of exaggeration. 

In “How the Beowulf Poet Composed His Poem” by Robert Payson Creed we find something of the rhythmic pattern used in the epic. 

“Received wisdom has it that the…

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