The Importance Of Storytelling In Beowulf

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The novel, Beowulf, intertwines and twists many different motifs within its story. These include monsters, weapons, and feasting. One motif, storytelling, is woven throughout the tale, and has an essential role in Beowulf. With little or no access to the written word, storytelling was the ideal way to spread ideas for public consumption. Oral tales provide a view into Anglo Saxon beliefs, how their monarchy functioned, and their socio-political structure. These tales give modern historians and literary scholars concrete evidence to examine and understand Anglo Saxon life. In the day of Beowulf, storytelling functioned as principles to allow Anglo Saxon people to share and sculpt their future generations. Storytelling also played a large role in influencing civilians and leaders trust in others and each other. Stories could paint ideas and portraits of certain characteristics, even as either heroic or cowardly so as to manipulate civilians. In Beowulf, we learn the title character was widely respected. The stories of his triumph over the monsters spread throughout the land, affecting the other’s views on him as a loyal man and a hero through it all. In…show more content…
Storytelling within Beowulf often differs, a handful of the stories are told traditionally while others are used as a flashback or a foreshadow. Before Beowulf 's short battle with Grendel, he speaks of how the bloodbath could turn out. Here he states: “If Grendel wins, it will be a gruesome day; he will glut himself on the Geats in the war-hall… he will carry me away as he goes to ground, gorged and bloodied; he will run gloating with my raw corpse and feed on it alone, in a cruel frenzy fouling his moor-nest” (lines 442-451). In this instance, the “story” is seen as a foreshadow, despite it being incorrect. Beowulf did not boast of his unknown fate being successful but rather accepted the fact he could and might die while battling the beast, this showed his humble being and gained him respect within Hrothgar’s

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