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Word Count: 798
The epic poem Beowulf written in Old English by Christian monks around 750 AD is a wonderful adventure story about a warrior who kills ferocious monsters The use of description and imagery enlivens the story making it possible for a reader to really see in his or her mind the characters and events Metaphors exaggeration and alliteration are three devices that together allow the reader to experience this poem which is quite different than most other poetry A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily means one thing is applied to another thing to suggest a likeness between the two Metaphors are used extensively throughout the poem to paint a more colorful picture in the listeners mind These metaphors are used in phrases called kennings A kenning is a descriptive poetical expression used instead of a simple name for a person or thing Beowulf is hardly ever called by his actual name Instead there are many kennings referring to him such as Prince of the Weders The Son of Ecgtheow The Geatish hero and The Lord of the Seamen These kennings describe Beowulf to us in a more interesting way than just stating the hard facts Without these kennings Beowulf would be less interesting and we would learn less about him Anybody would say that describing or referring to a person by his or her name over and over again is boring So the use of kennings and metaphors is very important in this long epic poem Exaggeration is another device to make Beowulf a more interesting entertaining and dramatic poem For example even though this story is a fantasy it is hard to believe that the character of Beowulf would be able to kill a monster like Grendel with his bare hands Exaggerating Beowulfs bravery makes the story more exciting Another exaggeration used to convince us how great our hero is is
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