An Analysis of Beowulf Introduction The classic epic poem, Beowulf, begins and ends in a way that gives the story presented in the poem unity, a sense of structure and life to the character development in the poem. This paper will examine thematic and mythological elements of Beowulf, particularly in the context of the heroic themes presented with Beowulf’s killing of the Grendel, the Grendel’s mother and the final dragon for King Hrothgar. Unifying Device of Funerals and Kingship The poem begins and ends with a funeral. The first funeral was that of Scyld Scefing who was abandoned at birth but became a much loved “king of the Danes” later in life (3). King Scyld began a long line of King’s who ruled in the poem and the current king was...The end:
.....pushed into the “heaving waters” before the Geats recovered the treasure in the dragon’s cave. The oral tradition relies on stories being told and retold, and histories, ancestors, value systems and lineages to be explained in current time by the characters in the poem. Since Beowulf is part of the oral tradition of literature, it is necessary to have these thematic elements that serve to develop a sense of the past, the mythology of the time period and the sense of identity that each character had both to himself and to his people. In this case, the character Beowulf’s identity was very closely tied to power, leadership, decision-making and heroism. Works Cited Crossley-Holland, Kevin. Beowulf. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.