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Beowulf Comparison - Essay Example

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It is against this background, that Old English poetry is set. Anglo-Saxon poems written in Old English include ‘The Wanderer’,…
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Beowulf Comparison

Download file to see previous pages... Characterization entailed the poet’s imagination and the themes around those times with most poems having protagonists and antagonists. This is why the poems had aspects of heroes, battles, bravery, loyalty, feuds, meditations on fate and life including harsh aspects such as exile, monsters, as well as transience and treasure.
‘Beowulf’ is no different from Old English poems, one of them being ‘Battle of Maldon’. Both poems are written in Old English, which uses a different kind of grammar from the modern one. ‘Battle of Maldon’ is an old English poem written in Anglo-Saxon style (Bowman 91-115). The old English evolved to what is spoken in the present times and tended to be Germanic while exhibiting minimal French and Latin influence. In order to understand the poem in a deeper sense, students should be somehow familiar with Anglo-Saxon poetry rudiments. Anglo-Saxon poets used alliterative verse. This form of verse uses alliteration as the major stylistic device to join lines of poetry. This is the opposite of devices used in structuring rhymes. In alliteration, the a-verse or first half of a line is linked with the b-verse or second half via similar initial sounds. Additionally, a caesura divides the two halves. This is a pause usually represented in the form of a gap appearing on a page. The poems have reduced elements of internal rhyme but have repeated phrases, which they reused. Both ‘Battle of Maldon’ and ‘Beowulf’ are a series of stanzas, which narrate of heroic, mythical events from a Germanic past and end with the poet’s plight.
The Anglo-Saxon style depicts a form known as accentual verse with four beats in each line meaning every half line has two beats. Alliteration is fulfilled in the poem through use of epithets, which is a formula of pronunciation different from the modern English. Another significant stylistic device in Beowulf is the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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