Beowulf Criticism

Beowulf Criticism - of view and much of the meaning is...

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September 16, 2005 First-Year Precep. Beowulf Criticism Response Tolkien believes that Beowulf is not entirely a true epic hero, but he is still essential to the “narrative poem”. “Beowulf is not, then, the hero of an heroic lay, precisely. He has no enmeshed loyalties, nor hapless love. He is a man, and that for him and many is sufficient tragedy” (Tolkien 115). For a hero to be an epic hero, he must be the fault of his own downfall, and from what we know Beowulf is only human, and being human is his only downfall. In simplest terms the story is two moments in a great life; the young rise of a hero, and the fall of a great king. The monsters are some what nonessential to the meaning of Beowulf, the old tale was not first told from a poet’s point
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Unformatted text preview: of view, and much of the meaning is clouded by the folk-tale analogues. “ Beowulf is not an “epic”, not even a magnified ‘lay’. No term borrowed from Greek or other literatures exactly fit: there is no reason why they should” (Tolkien 127). I must agree with Tolkien’s point of view, the story is not all about fighting demons and dragons, it’s about the rise and fall of a man. It is only because the main foes in Beowulf are inhuman that the story is larger and more significant then just a tale about a great king’s fall. If the monsters were replaced with great battles against formidable enemies, the meaning of Beowulf would be the same....
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