Download Literary Terms: Beowulf

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Literary Terms: Beowulf
Alliteration: Repetition of consonant sounds within a line of
poetry. Example: “as Beowulf fell back, its breath flared…”
Epic: Long narrative poem about the deeds of a larger-than-life
hero who embodies or reflects the values of a particular society.
Examples: The Odyssey, Beowulf
Kenning: In Anglo-Saxon poetry, a two-word or phrase
metaphor. Examples: “whale-road” (the sea) and “shepherd of
evil” (Grendel)
Symbol: Something that stands for itself and for something
beyond itself. Examples: Dove = peace, Lion = power
Imagery: Language that appeals to the senses.
Theme: The central idea or insight of a work of literature.
Example: One theme of Beowulf is “good versus evil”.
Tone: The attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject or a
character. Example: The tone in Beowulf is serious.
Allusion: a reference that is made indirectly, subtly suggested, or
implied that refers to another work (of literature, art, etc.)
Example: Grendel is referred to as the son of Cain, a Biblical