Essay on the Epic Hero or the Heroic Epic 2012 (Beowulf, Harry

Essay on the Epic Hero or the Heroic Epic 2012
(Beowulf, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings)
Before you start, you will need to decide whether you want to write about the epic hero or
the heroic epic. (There is a difference.) It is entirely your choice. However, I would choose
the one in which you feel the most confident.
Paragraph 1:
Start with a definition of the epic or epic hero. Include in this paragraph whichever one
you have chosen. You will need to make some mention of the time difference of these.
(Beowulf first composed around 800, Fellowship written in 1954, and Harry Potter first
written in1999). Use the idea of the epic or epic hero as your cohesive device. Choose two
characteristics to write about. You must end this paragraph with your thesis statement.
Paragraph 2:
Start with a topic sentence. Set up and use Beowulf as your main or controlling piece. You
must take the characteristics you listed in the introduction and show how Beowulf
illustrates these characteristics. You must have a direct quote for each characteristic. Use
transitions to move from one characteristic to another. Remember to correctly incorporate
your quotations.
Paragraphs 3and 4:
Start with a topic sentence. Set up your remaining pieces in these two paragraphs. You
might want to discuss them in the order mentioned in the introduction. You must show
how each piece follows the guidelines you established in paragraphs 1 and 2. Be sure to
keep the same order. Because these are visual, you do not need to use direct quotations.
However, if you are familiar enough to know some direct quotes, feel free to use them.
Whether you use direct quotations or not, you must use specific incidents from the movies
to support your conclusions/arguments.
Paragraph 5:
Restate your thesis. Draw conclusions about why the hero and/or the heroic epic is still
alive and thriving in the 21st century. You may want to use current or recent events and
examples to validate and support your conclusions.
The bonus deadline for the essay is October24. The regular due date is October 26.
The essay must be 12 pt. font, double spaced, with indented paragraphs. The background
notes over characteristics of a hero and heroic epic that we discussed before we began to
read Beowulf will prove very useful in helping you write this essay.
Characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem
Long, narrative poem of heroic deeds
Reflects values of society
Involves the fate of an entire nation
Battles with monsters
Supernatural intervention or magic
Conflict (man vs. man, man vs. nature, man
vs. fate)
Involves long, formal speeches (usually
Depicts the fierce, hardy life of a warrior
Characteristics of the Epic Hero
Noble Birth
Endowed with a quest
Reflects value of society
Displays loyalty
Superhuman strength or courage
Describes feasting and celebrations in
mead halls
Uses violence to restore moral order
Embodies both pagan and Christian ideals
Becomes a deliverer for a large populous
Transmitted originally by songs and
Inspires and unifies communities
Many references to fate or destiny
Under god’s protection
Immortalizes the hero
Uses poetic devices: kennings, flashback,
and catalogues
Undergoes multiple, dangerous journeys