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An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf – Characterization of Beowulf

Characterization of Beowulf

The dialogue, action and motivation revolve about the characters in the poem (Abrams 32-33). It is the purpose of this essay to demonstrate the types of characters present in the anonymously written Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf – whether static or dynamic, whether flat or round, and whether protrayed through showing or telling.

At the very outset of the poem the reader is introduced, through “telling” by the scop, to Scyld Scefing, forefather of the Danish ruling dynasty:

Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,

from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,

awing the earls. Since erst he lay

friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:

for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,

till before him the folk, both far and near,

who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,

gave him gifts: a good king he!

Scyld and his son Beowulf and the latter’s son Healfdene are mentioned but are not characters in the poem. The first true character that the reader meets is Healfdene’s son, Hrothgar, present king of the Danes:

To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,

such honor of combat, that all his kin

obeyed him gladly till great grew his band

of youthful comrades.

Hrothgar quickly develops into a round character as the narrator begins to present his temperament and motivation:

It came in his mind

to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,

a master mead-house, mightier far

than ever was seen by the sons of earth,

and within it, then, to old and young

he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,

save only the land and the lives of his men.

Of generous mind, Hrothgar wishes only …

… middle of paper …

… Beowulf. He is static, remaining staunchly brave at the side of the hero. The author uses both showing and telling techniques to develop Wiglaf.

This essay has presented the types of characters found by the reader in the anonymously written Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf – whether static or dynamic, whether flat or round, and whether protrayed through showing or telling.


Abrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms, 7th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.

BEOWULF. From The Harvard Classics, Volume 49. P.F. Collier

The Immigrants in Breath, Eyes, Memory

Immigrants Breath, Eyes, Memory

Having to move to another country is not an east task because you are leaving behind everyone that you know since you are a little kid. Sophie was experiencing this because now she must drop everything and jump in a plane to reunited with her mother which she only have heard her voice.
Haiti and Tante Atie was all Sophie knew, the freedom that she had to run around or just play with kids from across the street while the hot sun is kicking in. Tante Atie for Sophie was the mother that she always wanted; a mother that would wait for her outside when she returned from school or a mother that would tell her stories when she couldn’t fall asleep. This will soon change when one-day plane tickets arrive and everything that was familiar to her was no longer there.
Sophie was now in a new country with a mother that was also new to her. She now most learn English and at the same time maintain a fluent Creole. But the most difficult thing is to get use to New York and her new surroundings because you no longer can be running around in the street and your parents are working day and night. There is no more freedom until you become an American (meaning more independent an liberal) in from of your mother eyes.
I can relate to this novel a lot because I came to this country when I was eleven years old and I had to leave my grand parents, my father and my friends behind for a new life with my mother. It was a big change because I no longer could go outside and play baseball with my friends instead I most stay in and play Nintendo. I couldn’t speak with some people in my school because I did not speak English nor did I understand the language. I had to work hard to understand and speak English, I used to always go to McDonalds and order the food, this was a way for me to practice or volunteer to go to the deans office to drop or to pick up something. At the beginning was hard but my friends were supportive but there were times when people try to put me down because of my heavy accent, at that point I wanted to loss my accent but I learn that my accent is part of who I am.

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