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How Do the Literary Devices Found Throughout Beowulf Help to Convey the Morals and Values of the Anglo-Saxon People?

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  • Word count: 521
  • Category: Grendel

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The anglo saxon people valued bravery, strength, heroism and loyalty through good deeds. They also had a strong desire to fight of evil. Beowulf is the hero that plays out what the saxon people stood by and carries out many qualities and they are clear to see throughout the poem. In his country he is the strongest warrior when he defeats grendel and the other monsters. In the novel the literary devices help to convey the morals and values of the anglo saxon people by giving the readers examples.

The moral of the story is played out within the poem through the many literary devices these include epics, foreshadowing, eleg long narrative poem about a hero.

Beowulf boasts of his great strength in the beginning of the poem when he tells Hrothgar that he has come to help them defeat Grendel. There is notable imagery as he explains that he has defeated sea monsters and other beasts in the interest of his countrymen: ‘Have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood.’ Here, we can envision Beowulf coming out of battle and covered in blood; it gives us an image of a great warrior, like Rambo.

“ once he arrives … and boasts of his numerous past achievements, which will qualify him to fight with grendel.”

Beowulf chooses to rely on this strength in his battle with Grendel; he enters battle without a weapon. Many of us would think it unwise, but he emerges from the battle victorious. The battle is described vividly, demonstrating Beowulf’s superhuman strength:

“Beowulf then announces he will fight the monster that night without weapons.”

The author of the poem uses hints or clues that help readers understand what is going to happen next.

“But beowulf longed for fame and leaped back into battle”

There are three central conflicts: Grendel’s domination of Heorot Hall; the vengeance of Grendel’s mother after Grendel is slain; and the rage of the dragon after a thief steals a treasure that it has been guarding. The poem’s overarching conflict is between close-knit warrior societies and the various menaces that threaten their boundaries.

“They wrestled she ripped and tore and clawed at him” (beowulf’s battle with grendel) 

he funeral of Shield Sheafson, with which the poem opens, foreshadows Beowulf’s funeral at the poem’s end; the story of Sigemund told by the scop, or bard, foreshadows Beowulf’s fight with the dragon Elegiac- Beowulf’s fight with the fire breathing dragon, he ends up dying.

“… and found his lord [beowulf] bleeding profusely, his life at an end”.

Irony- given the sword that is supposed to “never fail” but doesn’t work against grendel.

“But her guest discovered that no sword could slice her evil skin ..” the author calls Beowulf a “guest” when he is about to go into the lake and kill Grendel’s mom, facing possible death. It is ironic because a “guest“is often referred to a respected visitor, not a person who is about to murder the “host”.

“But her guest…”

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