An analysis of the mythic elements in the epic poem beowulf

Many of the books available on myths and legends are written for children, and even books written for an adult audience are usually collections of myths. There are few titles I am aware of that are written for the general adult audience with an interest in exploring these stories in detail. The Myths and Legends books do a nice job of compiling and organizing information from a variety of primary and secondary sources, and presenting it in a coherent way.

An analysis of the mythic elements in the epic poem beowulf

Bravery beyond compare, superhuman intelligence, strength or skills and a driving desire to find success. The epic hero often battles for good, or accomplishes a set of tasks to complete an important goal.

Language & Lit

Often this hero comes by his qualities as a birthright, sometimes having links to gods or other epic heroes. Beowulf exhibits these qualities in the Old English epic poem named after him.


His heroic qualities were courage, loyalty, wisdom, boasting, and physical strength. The Epic Hero Understanding the significance of Beowulf's acts requires an understanding of the key figures in the epic poem.

Hrothgar's mead hall has been attacked by Grendel, a powerful monster, and his mother. Beowulf heroically slays Grendel and becomes the target of his mother. Beowulf again succeeds in battle and then returns to Geatland, his home. Courage allowed Beowulf to face the monsters and gave him fame throughout the llands.

An analysis of the mythic elements in the epic poem beowulf

Defeating Demons Anglo-Saxon epic heroes are willing to put their own lives in danger for the greater good. They provide the common people with a sense of security and they display honor in every act.

Beowulf is willing to put himself in danger, and he accepts the challenge of fighting the monster, Grendel, for the honor of helping the Geats and to honor his father who pledged his allegiance to Hrothgar after a feud had been settled.

Lines in Section III explain his motivation: Bravery and Vulnerability Later in life, Beowulf becomes King of the Geats and is responsible for guiding his kingdom. During his year rule, the kingdom is attacked by a dragon whose treasure was stolen.

Beowulf and his servants, the thegns, attack the dragon but they cannot defeat him. The thegns retreat for safety, except for Wiglaf and Beowulf who display another characteristic of an epic hero, bravery, when they face the dragon on their own.

An analysis of the mythic elements in the epic poem beowulf

He manages to slay the dragon, but he is wounded in battle when the dragon bites him on the neck and its poisonous venom kills the mighty hero. Fitting Burial Following his death, the beloved Beowulf is buried on a cliff, which overlooks the sea.

Along with Beowulf, the dragon's treasure - once thought to be used to benefit his people - is buried in the barrow, in accordance with Wiglaf's instructions.

The warriors failed to support their king in battle, and they have been foolish to risk their most prized king, who could protect them and ensure their safety.This webpage is for Dr.

Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies. - Beowulf The epic poem Beowulf is a story of heroes and monsters, good and evil.

The poem tells about the accomplishments and deeds of a legendary Geatish hero who first rids the Danish kingdom of Hrothgar of two demonic monsters: Grendel and Grendel's mother. The Tolkien 's The Hobbit - The Hobbit is a treasured and cherished children’s book, but the work is frequently ignored by adults who demote it to the nursery bookshelf and hand it down to younger siblings or store it away for the next generation.

An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf - Sources for Beowulf Essay - Sources for Beowulf Many of the characters and episodes and material artifacts mentioned poetically in Beowulf are likewise presented to us from archaeological sources, from literary sources, and from English and Scandinavian records.

Greek Mythology vs. Ancient Near East Mytholgy - Greek Mythology played a monumental role in the structural development of ancient Greece, not only as a society, but as individuals.

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Interlocking Mythic Patterns in Beowulf