Beowulf Is an epic poem with various themes and is in Anglo-Saxon literature. It may be a more complicated poem compared to our modern epics. But with the latest translation or version, one can understand the themes of Beowulf and its meanings. Not only does Beowulf include various themes, but it also includes several kinds of styles and writing techniques such as; epithets, litotes, kenning’s, etc. These techniques and themes make Beowulf an epic poem, meaning that It had a great impact on the culture and showed the heroines of Beowulf.
There are several themes in Beowulf, but the most notable themes are; bravery, revenge, and violence. In the epic, Beowulf shows a lot of courage and bravery defeating monsters at a young age, thus Increasing his reputation and the visiting to Hero. Revenge Is displayed on both sides of the epic, meaning that Beowulf seeks revenge as much as a monster seeks revenge against Beowulf. The last theme is violence. Being a heroic epic, of course you will read lots of violence, gore, and Imagery.
The way Beowulf shows bravery, is by being a young man who travels to Hero, because the people are In need of a brave person to slay Greened, a monster. For example, “Yet the prince of the rings was too proud to line up with a large army against the sky plague. He had scant regard for the dragon as a threat, no dread at all of its courage or strength, for he had kept going often in the past, through perils and ordeals of every sort, after he had purged Hoarder’s hall, triumphed In Horror and beaten Greened” (2345-2353). Beowulf shows his bravery even 50 years after his encounter with Grenade’s mom.
He is completely unafraid of the dragon and chooses to fight without an army, one-on-one, the way he fought Greened and his mother in his earlier years. Revenge is also a big theme In Beowulf. “Wise sir, do not grieve. It Is always better to avenge dear ones than to Indulge In mourning. For every one of us, living in this world means waiting for our end. Let whoever can win glory before death. When a warrior is gone, that will be his best and only bulwark” (1384-1389). This shows vengeance since Grenades mother sought revenge since her son was murdered.
Now she had surprised and attacked men, and that is when Beowulf wanted to seek his revenge on Grenade’s mother. Violence plays a major role in this epic too. “When a chance came, he caught the hero in a rush of flame and clamped sharp fangs into his neck. Beowulf body ran wet with his life-blood: It came welling out” (2690-2693). This quote Is one of many violence scenes that show how brutal the fights were between Beowulf and all three monsters. Together, these three themes make up the majority of the themes portrayed in Beowulf.
Not only are there several themes in Beowulf, but the unknown author also used various styles such as; kenning’s and epithets. There are much more styles In this Anglo-Saxon literature, but the most viewed or read are, the epithets and kenning’s. Examples of kenning’s include; “Shield- Bearers” (1402), “War-gear (1442), “Fine- webbed mail” (1443). These are only a few of many examples of kenning’s in Beowulf. The reason they are kenning’s, Is because these description are used to describe things or Just simply name something.
Like “Shield; Bearers”, means the warriors, soldiers, or men. The author calls them shield bearers because he or she used a 1 OFF the soldiers’ armor and so does “Fine-webbed mail” but it can also mean their chain mail. Another style of writing used in Beowulf, is epithets. Epithets are used to give a description or to characterize someone or something. Such as “ring-giver” (1 101), “sea-lanes” (1 156), “God-cursed brute” (121). These examples of epithets are used to characterize certain things. Like the”ring-giver” is used to characterize the king. Sea- lanes” translates to the ocean. Lastly, “God-cursed brute” is used to characterize or describe Greened, the monster that Beowulf kills. This technique helps the author by using more words to Just simply describe one word, name, or object. This helps the author’s literature. Kenning’s are another style that helps the author. It is another form that is used to describe one word, name, or object by using two or more words. Overall these few out of many techniques or styles helps the author’s literature and heir word choice makes the epic poem better.
With the help of various themes and styles, Beowulf proves to be an epic poem. The themes portrayed in this epic poem show bravery, of how Beowulf defeats two monsters at a young age, and how 50 years later, Beowulf once again shows his courage by slaying a dragon which ended his life, making his greatest sacrifice for his people. Beowulf shows revenge various times. The first when, 30 men are eaten by Greened, therefore making the King of Hero, seek revenge and call upon Beowulf to kill Greened. Once he kills Greened, Grenade’s mother seeks revenge on Beowulf by reprising and attacking a group of men.