Richard Wilbur Writing Styles in Beowulf

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Chronological order. The tone is formal, in keeping with the account of a hero. However, Wilbur is not writing a story so much as a character study of Beowulf, or of all heroes. The most dramatic event - the battle with the monster - takes only two lines of the poem. The stanzas reveal the atmosphere of the hero's experience, but they do not provide much detail about the actual adventures.

The rhyme scheme is the same for each stanza. Using the letters a, b, and c to denote the end rhyme of each line, the rhyme scheme is a, b, b, c, a, c. For example, in the last stanza the final words of each line are king, one, done, land, ring, and understand. This consistent pattern of rhyming helps create the formal effect of the poem. It also makes some language in the poem sound inevitable. For...

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This section contains 338 words
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Poetry for Students
Beowulf from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.