Gareth Hinds Writing Styles in Beowulf

Gareth Hinds
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Narrative Voice

Beowulf has an omniscient ("all-knowing") narrator. The narrative voice comments on the character's actions, and knows and is able to report on what they think. The narrator is aware of things— for example, the curse on the dragon's treasure (lines 3066-75)—that are not known to the epic's characters. Beowulf shares this omniscient narration with other epics, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid, but remains subtly different. The narrator of Beowulf makes an explicit connection with the audience, acknowledging a shared background of cultural knowledge, in the opening lines of the poem: "We have heard of the thriving of the throne of Denmark" (emphasis added). The narrator's voice is also intimately connected with those of the characters. Both use narratives in the same way, to point a moral or to project future events.

Characterization

The poet used several methods to create character. The narrator...

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This section contains 1,034 words
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Epics for Students
Beowulf from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.