Metaphors and Alliteration in Beowulf
Beowulf is an epic poem written in Old English. This poem is a wonderful adventure story about a brave man who kills ferocious monsters to help and keep the Danish town safe. During this time the world was male dominated, and violence and danger were very prominent. Even though there were Danes who were afraid of what was going on in their town, many of the men were looking out to seek revenge and have someone killed. Even though this poem was hard to understand, the use of description and imagery livens up the story. Two main devices used in this poem to help describe what was happening was metaphors, as well as alliteration.
A metaphor is a figure of speech when a word or phrase that usually means one thing is applied to another thing. Metaphors are used a lot throughout the poem. A type of metaphor used throughout this poem are kennings. A kenning is a descriptive expression used instead of a simple name. For example, when they are talking about a ship, they call it a wave walker, and when they are talking about waves, they call it sea lanes. This figure of speech made me interested in this story because it was interesting to see how people would talk and describe things.
Another device used repeatedly in this story was alliteration. Alliteration, means to repeat the same sound , usually a consonant, at the beginning of words or in accented syllables. Alliteration is used to give the story a more flowing and poetic sound. It is known that alliteration also helped the actors and storytellers to memorize the stories easier. In Beowulf some examples of alliteration are, “Greedy grim grabbed”, “fitted and furnished”, or “showed sea-cliffs shining”.
Even though back in the day this poem was considered an amazing work of art, in comparison to modern fiction, this story is considered wordy and lengthy. One has to look at Beowulf and enjoy the descriptions, and the clever alliteration, as well as the exaggerations to...