Language Analysis of Beowulf and Iliad:.
Beowulf is one of the oldest and important existing poems in the English language. Originally written in Anglo-Saxon, it has been translated to give readers the opportunity to enjoy this colorful, heroic poem. It is a story about a hero, a Scandinavian prince named Beowulf, who rids the Danes of the monster Grendel, a descendent of Cain. It has been declared an ageless epic poem, because it continuously and clearly possesses various characteristics of an epic throughout this narrative. Some of which are heroism, status and honor, good versus evil, and the superhuman versus the supernatural.
One very crucial characteristic of an epic is its hero. Generally, the hero is not only a male but of noble birth or of a high position. Beowulf fits these qualities of a common, classic hero, in addition; he stands high above the rest of the crowd, and is larger than the average character. The hero's hierarchal rank became apparent when Wulfgar addressed Beowulf with his knowledge that his cousin, the king, sent Beowulf, the second heir to the thrown, to slay Grendel the beast (127-130) in order to shed light and life back onto Danes" beautiful mead-halls (142-144). .
The hero must be of grand proportions and possess super-human courage in order to be able to perform outstanding deeds. Beowulf perfectly exemplifies this characteristic of an epic hero. He is first described as ".greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world." (110-111) Beowulf 's appearance alone--his size, his armor (140)--obviously commands immediate respect, attention, and grand presence. He is also brave and courageous enough to obtain permission to voluntarily take on this enormous responsibility to liberate a land of Grendel single-handedly (162-166). The reader comes to terms with the magnitude of Beowulf's super-human courage shown in lines 154-169 because he has, in the past, risked his life against massive supernatural beings.