Beowulf essay

Submitted By buchanan2015
Words: 788
Pages: 4

KyLynn Buchanan
Mr. Von Kennell
British Literature
16 February, 2015
Beowulf Literary Devices Many literary devices are used all throughout Beowulf including archetypes, kennings, and hyperboles. Using literary devices in literature is a great way to fluff up any story and make it more interesting. These strategies have been used in poetry for centuries and are often still used today. Different literary devices are used repeatedly all throughout the story of Beowulf, including archetypes, kennings and hyperboles. An archetype is an example or symbol of someone or something that is very widely know. Those who study literature believe archetypes are recurring representations in certain cultures or even amongst all humans. Archetypes are used vastly among literature and even well known movies. Disney movies are well known for their use of Archetypes. According to Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, believes archetypes are shared between different races and cultures. The article states that this includes things like birth, love and religion. An example given on was The Mother Figure which takes place in Cinderella when the fairy god mother comes. It is widely known that the fairy god mother comes in and saves the child in need. Throughout Beowulf there are multiple examples of Archetypes such as, portraying Beowulf as the hero in the story. Beowulf is the perfect example of a hero because he puts others needs before his own and is always helping others in need. Anytime Hrothgar was in need of help, Beowulf was always there to assist him in whatever he needed. He also slays the evil monster, Grendel, who is said to be the descendant of Cain. Grendel is believed to be very evil, a monstrous being, impure and known for committing the act of murder. Beowulf was able to slay dragons but tragically he was still killed by a dragon, although he was still considered to be a hero. Beowulf consists of very common and widely used archetypes in literature. Many stories throughout time have used the same archetypes, but then created different stories with them. Another literary device that is used in Beowulf is a kenning. A kenning is a phrase in literature, often two words, that has a metaphoric meaning. The meaning of the phrase is most often not clear within the expression. According to kennings were most commonly used in Old Norse and Old English Poetry, beginning in the later part of the nineteenth century. Now in the twenty-first century, we are still using kennings in much of our literature. Many people used phrases such as fender bender, referring to a small vehicular crash. Kennings are also quite widely used within Beowulf. The story used phrases like “mail shirt” referring to armor, “mail armor” speaking about a helmet and “dwelling place” for the place where someone’s home is. The story also uses a kenning when referring to Grendel as a “God cursed brute.” I believe the author uses these techniques to help lure the reader in. These phrases make the story