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How is imagery used in Beowulf

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  • Pages: 2
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  • Category: Beowulf

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Imagery is the formation of mental images. It is used all throughout this epic poem Beowulf. The way imagery is used in Beowulf is powerful, deep, and strong. Imagery in this epic poem makes it so easy to picture what’s going on, and really sets the mood for Beowulf. The epic poem starts off talking about Grendel, already using imagery. “A powerful monster, living down in the darkness, growled in pain, impatient”. So already you have some great insight of Grendel from the use of imagery. “He slipped through the door and there in the silence snatched up thirty men, smashed them unknowing in their beds and ran out with their bodies, the blood dripping behind him, back to his lair, delighted with his night’s slaughter”. This quote from Beowulf gives you incredible imagery, and shows you just how evil Grendel the murderous beast is. Imagery helps set the mood. I think without imagery in this epic poem it would be bland, and hard to depict. Beowulf is the hero to this epic poem.

“Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy sword, hammered by giants, strong and blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons but so massive that no ordinary man could lift its carved and decorated length”. “He drew it from its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, and then, savage, now, angry and desperate, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through, broken bones and all, her body fell to the floor, lifeless, the sword was wet with her blood, and Beowulf rejoiced at the sight”. These quotes use superb imagery, it describes how Beowulf killed Grendel’s mother and how intense the moment was. This quote has excellent use of imagery. “But Beowulf repaid him for those visits, found him lying dead in his corner, armless, exactly as that fierce fighter had sent him out from Herot, then struck off his head with a single swift blow, the body jerked for the last time, then lay still”.

This quote shows just how thirsty for revenge and how merciless Beowulf, the epic poem hero was. You can literally picture this, as if you were really there, such a violent act by the hero. Imagery is a core piece to this epic poem Beowulf. It provides mood, setting, and perfect mental picture. Beowulf is action and violent filled. It helps picture the characters like the hero Beowulf and the evil monster Grendel. If imagery wasn’t a part of this, I feel it wouldn’t have the title of epic poem. This is how imagery is used in Beowulf.

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