Beowulf Summary

1 January 2017

The use of litote in the poem of Beowulf is both intentional and ironic. When Beowulf describes himself fighting with the monster while swimming, he calls the scene to be a “small pleasure. ” This fighting is certainly a scene of great violence, but by the description from Beowulf, readers could obtain the irony in the text. Epithet – an adjective phrase that is usually placed adjacent to the noun it is referring to * Ex) In the poem of Beowulf, the author frequently uses epithet to describe what kind of person each character is.

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For example, it is once mentioned in the poem “Beowulf, the son of Edgetho. ” This describes Beowulf to be the son of Edgetho. Frequent use of this literary device allows the poem to avoid wordiness since the description phrases are not in a separate sentence. Kenning – A figurative that is used instead of a noun. * Ex) A kenning is usually used as some sort of metaphor in the poem of Beowulf. For example, the sea is said to be the “Whale’s road” in some part of the poem. The use of kenning made the author to avoid redundancy but at the same time to emphasize certain ideas.

This moreover helped the author by allowing him to remember the stories he have written. Allusion – a reference, especially a covert or indirect one * Ex) Allusions are used mostly in the poem to refer to Biblical aspects. It is commonly said that the poem was written when Christianity first came into being. Hence, Christianity was taught throughout the society. The poem acts to teach pagans through biblical allusions within the poem. (Grendel is referred to Cain while the fight of Beowulf and Grendel’s mother is situated as the story of Dacid and Goliath. Alliteration – repetition of the first syllables in several series of words. * Ex) Alliteration is something that could be found very commonly within the poem of Beowulf.

Yet, it is easier to find when the poem is read in their original text. This is because the authors wrote in another language than English which made translations have less alliteration. The main use of alliteration was that it helped the poets easier to understand what they have written previously. Moreover, it helped the readers easier to memorize the poem. Juxtaposition – a device that helps the author convey to the readers concealed meanings by placing wo events together *

This device helped the readers to think about why the author actually put the events together which also helped them to critically consider the whole poem. Moreover, when the readers were allowed to interpret the intention of the poet, they were able to learn some kind of discipline through the poet’s juxtaposition of two events. For instance, the author mentions the treasury owned by the Germanic warriors. Yet, the author continues with the burial of Shild which makes the readers interpret that wealth did not matter after death.

Caesura – a pause * Ex) Caesuras are used for two purposes. The first ‘purpose’ is because of the verse format Beowulf was written in. The second purpose is to make the poem more realistic to people. The caesuras represent the blanks when normal people pause in their ordinary speech. These signs of pauses show how the people of the time spoke and also made the poem more familiar to the readers. Appositive – noun phrase that follows another noun to rename or describe it. * Appositive is mainly used in the poem to shun redundancy.

For instance, when the narrator refers to Beowulf as ‘Beowulf’ all the time, the poem would have the aspects of being redundant and make the readers lose interest. Hence, the author switched around the noun phrases that definitely means ‘Beowulf’ to use instead of Beowulf. This helped the overall fluency of the poem. Metaphor/simile – comparing two objects. * The difference between a metaphor and a simile is that one compares with the words ‘as’ and ‘like’ while the other does not. Yet, they are very similar in the way that they are both comparative devices.

The author of the poem uses these comparative devices in order ‘draw’ the picture of the poem. For example, the poem notes that “the ship foamed through the sea like a bird”. In this quote, we know that the ship foamed. However, many people have a hard time to imagine how a ship could foam. Therefore, the author compares the ship with a bird so that people could draw the picture in their mind how the ship foamed. Irony – Situational irony: when the result of a situation is opposite to what is actually expected * Dramatic Irony: when the audience knows while the characters does not.

Verbal Irony: when the words said are actually opposite of what is said. * We could see several situational ironies within this novel. First is when Beowulf gets the legendary sword from Unferth. Readers expect that the weapon is a necessary tool in killing Grendel’s mother. Yet, it turns out to be useless. Another example is when Beowulf fights with the dragon. Readers expect Beowulf to win the dragon but the poem ends up by having both the dragon and Beowulf dead. Symbol – something that represents complex ideas * Symbols are used in order to teach the readers about certain ideas through a situation that matches the context.

This symbol could whether teach the readers or tell another idea that the readers should consider throughout the literature. For instance, the party after Beowulf kills Grendel shows the coming-back of happiness in Dane. This allows the readers to be aware that the Dane was not of a happy place before the coming of Beowulf. Character List Beowulf Beowulf is the protagonist of the whole literature. Beowulf is portrayed as a hero to the people of the Dane because he killed Grendel, Grendel’s mother and the dragon. Each fight was hard and well-fought, both by Beowulf and the enemies.

Yet, all the battles results in victory of Beowulf. He is both shown as a powerful leader when he killed the monsters and as a wise leader when he reigns as the king. However, in the end, he ends up dying to the dragon after he killed the dragon. Hrothgar King Hrothgar is the king of the Danes. He acts as a role model for Beowulf of a kind of king Beowulf wants to be in the future. Yet, it is clearly seen that he considers and emphasizes different kind of leadership with Beowulf. Moreover, his reputation as a king is debunked by the existence of Grendel.

However, he had great success in his military achievements and fine control of the whole society before this instance. Still, he is considered an able, wise and aged ruler from his people. Grendel Grendel is the primary antagonist of the poem. The poem has a total of three antagonists and Grendel comes into story the first. Grendel is characterized as violent and destructive. He is a demon who does not have any sort of kindness. He was the major cause of the fear within the Danish people and the fall of King Hrothgar. Grendel is furthermore portrayed as the descendant of Cain because of their common nature of murdering people.

Cain was the biblical figure to first murder a person while Grendel terrorized and killed the people of Dane. Grendel’s mother Grendel’s mother is the secondary antagonist of the poem. This means that she comes right after the death of Grendel. Many people characterize Grendel’s mother as something very similar with Grendel: violent and destructive. Yet, in some point of view, this is not true; we could also see motherhood just by the example of Grendel’s mother. Grendel’s mother coming into the story was because she wanted to take revenge on the people who killed her son.

We could see that mothers do anything for their children even sacrificing their very own life (eventually loses her life taking revenge to Beowulf). The Dragon The dragon in the story is the tertiary and the final antagonist. The dragon comes after the death of Grendel’s mother. The dragon is characterized by the most fearful characteristics; fire-breathing and no differentiation of what is good and bad. Besides, the dragon is said to protect treasures in its mound. However, someone accidentally went into the dragon’s womb, waking and irritating the dragon.

The dragon gets mad by the interruption and tries to destroy the whole city. It eventually is killed by Beowulf but Beowulf also dies because of the fight with the dragon. Vocabulary list Wassail – a festival with drinking of healths Sever – to separate Thanes – a member of aristocratic class Herald – a royal messenger Wanton – done, show, used Gable – a portion of the front side of building Brandish – to shake or wave Fiendish – cruel or wicked Bairn – children Flecked – small bit Slumber – to sleep Strove – strive Fretted – ornamented with frets Wiles – a trick

Hewing – to strike Betimes – soon future Valor – boldness Laden – burdened Stout – bulky in figure Wit – speech to express certain perspective Slew – slay Reflection: The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby is one of the most renowned novels for its scholarly ideas and disciplinary themes. However, this novel I think was special not just because of its plot; rather the writing style or the actual meaning the novel gives further contribute to the overall success of the novel. I thought that the plot itself was rather ‘common’ and had a sense of some kind of tragedy.

This did not interest me at all, but it was actually the compositions within the novel that held my attention. If it was not of the combination of the plot of the novel and the composition of the novel, the book would be just a piece of “book” that does not give the vast impact it gives now. The overall genre of this novel is a romance tragedy. This novel talks about a rich man who loves another woman who already has a husband. The main character is somehow mixed within this instance and is responsible to help out the relationship.

The novel starts out by portraying Gatsby as a mysterious being who threw party everyday night. Then Gatsby gets closer to the narrator, Nick, and makes a fine relation with him. However, the actual reason of this relation was to get a relationship with Daisy, who Gatsby loved. Despite the fact that Daisy already had a husband, Gatsby still does not give up. It later turns out that Tom, Daisy’s husband has another lover, Myrtle. Then Daisy strikes Myrtle with Gatsby’s car accidentally but Gatsby wishes to take the blame. However, when George, Myrtle’s husband, finds about this, he shoots Gatsby to death.

In Gatsby’s funeral, regardless of all the parties he threw, nobody came to his funeral. I think the overall tone of the narrative of the novel is both ironic and cynical. For example, we could see from Chapter 1 when Nick hangs out with Jordan and Buchanan. In here Daisy complements Nick that he is like a nose. However the reply from Nick to this statement was: “This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose. She was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.

Then suddenly she threw her napkin on the table and excused herself and went into the house. ” Nick knows the absurdity of some social conventions. Moreover, he also knows the affectation of the aristocrats which are somewhat meaningless to him. This point of view towards the upper class people proves that he has a cynical perspective towards people. This perspective he possessed also created a cynical tone in the narration of the novel. In addition to the perspective developing to the overall tone of the story, the tone of the novel also piles up to make the mood within the story.

For instance, he forms an impression of Tom with his choice of words—hard, supercilious, arrogant, cruel. There is no mistaking Buchanan for some gentle giant. This hard tone of this being foreshadows some bad thing happening in the later novel. I think the overall theme of the novel the Great Gatsby does not fit into one such theme; it covers many themes from class to lies. If we just look at the plot of the story we could know that Gatsby basically ‘deceived’ Nick to get a closer relation with Daisy.

Moreover, he deceived himself to get closer to Daisy by throwing parties at his place. However, these indirect actions of Gatsby made Gatsby to be alone when it was close to his death; nobody came to his funeral. Besides the plot of the novel, if we consider the period when the novel was written, we could see that it had further themes to cover up. Economically, the world was greatly enhanced by events like Industrial Revolution. Hence, prosperity was common. Yet, corruption was also very prevalent. Therefore, Fitzgerald considered these issues in writing the novel.

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