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Transcript of Beowulf Prezi
Beowulf shows multiple examples of superhuman strength. Quote #1 shows that he is able to destroy a creature, of great strength, with one simple blow of his hand. That is not a normal quality among humans. Quote #2 explains how Beowulf can destroy a being with his cunning, alone. It also exemplifies his great strength, both of which are very uncommon among humans, making these superhuman characteristics.
The hero is charged with a quest.
Beowulf's quest is his adventure across oceans to help Hrothgar defeat Grendel. After his long travels, he is faced with the challenge of actually defeating Grendel before he can return. He has to travel a great distance, as stated in these lines:
"Likest a bird, glided the waters,/ Till twenty and four hours thereafter/ The twist-stemmed vessel had traveled such distance"
(Part 4 Lines 29-32)
The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest.
Beowulf is tested when Grendel's mother comes for revenge. Grendel's mother is a much more difficult match for Beowulf, and after Beowulf's two fights with Grendel, he's not in the best shape for battle. The challenge of defeating Grendel's mother is evident in the following lines that express her attitude at the time.
"that still an avenger/ outlived the loathed one, long since the sorrow/ caused by the struggle; the mother of Grendel"
(Part 20 Lines 6-8)
The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals, and human helpers and companions.
There is evidence of two different sets of mythical beings. One of them is Grendel, and then there are the others.
Elements of An Epic Hero
In literature known as epic poems, there is always an epic hero. This hero has most, if not all, of the eight main characteristics that would identify them as an epic hero.
The Main character is a hero, who is often possessed of supernatural abilities or qualities.
The hero's travels take him to a supernatural world, often one that normal human beings are barred from entering.
Beowulf travels to a supernatural world, where no human being has been, when he goes to defeat Grendel's vengeful mother. Her lair is somewhere that no person has dared to venture, or have even been allowed to try.
The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated.
Beowulf's low point came when he was attempting to kill Grendel's mother and couldn't. He was able to kill Grendel with his might and other skills, but Grendel's mother couldn't even be slain with his special sword.
Beowulf's resurrection came when he was able to slit Grendel's mother's neck after his long moment of struggle. It seemed like he was defeated, and would be killed by this monster, but he redeemed himself once she was killed.
Restitution. Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne.
Beowulf's restitution was not regaining a throne, but being awarded with a great amount of money and treasures once he had slain Grendel and Grendel's mother. The quote I am using is from when Beowulf had died, and his casket was being laden with treasures in honor of his memory and valor.
"batt offcarried/ the mighty mere-creature by means of my hand blow."
(Part 9 Lines 59-60)
This quote is referring to Beowulf being able to severely harm Grendel with nothing but his hand. Seeing as how Grendel is supposed to be a destructive, huge, monster, a normal human being would be no match for him without some form of weapon. However, Beowulf was able to defeat him with is hands.
"that by might and main-strength a man under heaven/ might break it in pieces, bone-decked, resplendent,/ crush it by cunning, unless clutch of the fire/ in smoke should consume it"
(Part 12 Lines 71-74)
This quote further proves what I explained in the last frame. Here, Beowulf is described as someone "under heaven" or with some sort of God-like power. That automatically implies that he has supernatural abilities. He is also able to crush things, like Grendel, with cunning and his own strength. That is not normal among human beings.
"who gazed on the foot-tracks of the inglorious creature" (Part 24 Lines 6-7)
The word "inglorious" helps to explain what kind of being Grendel is. Of course, this is only one of the terms used to describe this hideous creature. Whatever Grendel is, he sure is mythical.
"A soldier asleep, suddenly tore him,/ bit his bone prison, the blood drank in currents,/ swallowed in mouthfuls: he soon had the dead man's/ feet and hands, too, eaten entirely." (Part 12 Lines 32-35)
This quote further proves that Grendel is more mythical than of this world. Not many creatures can do such a thing as tear someone from their bed, drink gallons of blood at a time, and be able to fit their entire body, including the feet, in its mouth.
"the mist covered moor-fens; men do not know where/ witches and wizards wander and ramble"
(Part 3 Lines 48-49)
This quote proves the existence of witches and wizards in Beowulf's reality. Witches and wizards are mythical creatures; not from our world. Them being in this epic poem proves the element of an epic hero, which requires the presence of mythical beings.
"They guard the wolf-coverts,/land inaccessible, wind-beaten resses,"
(Part 21 Lines 36-37)
-Notice how even though the land is inaccessible, Beowulf was able to access it.-
"The sword would not bite, her life would not infjure,/ But the falchion failed the folk-prince when:/ Erst had it often onsets encountered,/ Oft cloven the helmet, the fated one's armor:/ 'Twas the first time that ever the excellent jewel/ Had failed of its fame."
(Part 23 Lines 49-54)
This quote is stating that Beowulf's sword was unable to penetrate Grendel's mother's hide. At the time, it appeared that there was no hope for Beowulf.
"Bold and battle-grim, brandished his ring-sword,/ Hopeless of living, hotly he smote her,/ That the fiend-woman's neck firmly it grappled,/ Broke through her bone-joints, the bill fully pierced her/ Fate cursed body, she fell to the ground then:"
(Part 24 Lines 8-12)
This quote describes how Grendel's mother was finally killed by Beowulf.
"They placed in the barrow rings and jewels,/ All such ornaments as erst in the treasure/ War-mooded men had won in possession:/ The earnings of earlmen to earth they entrusted,/ The gold to the dust, where yet it remaineth"
(Part 43 lines 27-31)