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The Literary Tone of Beowulf Essay


The Literary Tone of Beowulf

When it comes to writing many authors have their own sense of style. In the Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, the writers tone of the story is unique and focuses on many different details and ideas. One who reads this poem may notice plenty of imagery, figurative devices, and allusion especially towards one of the main characters, Grendel.

When reading this poem one may notice plenty of imagery. As one reads about Grendels home it is described with such harsh words. Wild and lonely the land they live in, windswept ridges and wolf-retreats, dread tracts of fen where the failing torrent downward dips into gloom and shadow under the dusk of the darkening cliff. (Ln 868). In line 868 alone there are plenty of words the author use to describe the Grendels homeland. It is described with the feeling of horror and a sense of terror.

As well as imagery there is a ton of figurative devices being used. The author uses a metaphor in one of the lines to paint a picture of how Beowulf was thought of after the fight with Grendel. And the peerless hero, the honored prince. (Ln 89). Beowulf is being honored for defeating Grendel and his actions toward the matter. In line 89 he is to be thought of as a prince because he had defeated Beowulf when no other man in the kingdom could.

Allusion being another biggie that the author uses is spread evenly throughout this poem. The author throughout the poem makes a repetition about how Grendel is the seed of Cain. The author writes, He bore the curse of the seed of Cain. (Ln 65). When the author writes that Grendel is the seed of Cain they are explaining on how horrible of a creature he is. They are referring Grendel to Cain in the book of Genesis in the bible because Genesis was an evil man. The author also refers many of the other characters throughout the poem as being or containing the seed of Cain.

In conclusion every piece of literature is different due to the style of the author. It all matters on the authors tone or syntax of their story, poem, article, or passage entry. When one reads a piece of literature one should make sure to keep an eye out and focus on the authors style of writing. Next time look out for imagery, allusion, figurative devices, and repetition.

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