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Literary Devices Used in Beowulf

In the novel Beowulf; literary devices are used. These literary devices are alliteration, assonance, caesura, and kenning. Each literary device contributes to the passage and what the readers interpret from reading these particular literary devices.

An example of alliteration is, "Marshes, and made his home in hell," in "The Wrath of Grendel." This alliteration is used to describe Grendel's home as a hellish place. The way that Grendel's home is described creates an image in the listener's mind of Grendel's home as this horrible, frightening, and terrible place. This imagery makes appear Grendel as this monster because he lives in this "Hellish place." All of this makes the listener gain a sense of fear.

An example of assonance is "By God, punished forever for the crime," in "The Wrath of Grendel." This helps show that Grendel is being punished in the passage. This assonance gives an explanation as to why Grendel continues to show his fury on the city. All of this portrays an image of Grendel being a cruel individual. The listener gets this image of an evil beast that is being punished for all eternity. The assonance is significant because it show how the monks' perceived Grendel. The monks' saw Grendel as a murderous creature just like Cain and that he must be punished by God.

An example of caesura is, "Then, when darkness had dropped," in "The Wrath of Grendel." It is stressing the setting by emphasizing that it just became night. This aids in the passage by setting the stage of Grendel's arrival. The caesura gives an image of the setting as well. The caesura helps show motion in the passage which is, now that it is night, Grendel is coming.

An example of kenning is, "And all as once the greedy she-wolf," in "The Battle of Grendel's Mother." This kenning is used to give a trait of Grendel's mother personality. It informs the listener why she wants to smite Beowulf. Grendel's mother is demonstrating traits of a female wolf that is protecting her pup, Grendel. The listener can then easily infer that she is getting revenge for her son.

Literary devices are used to aid in conveying a message in the passage as a whole. Alliteration helps emphasize what is being described. Assonance helps draw a connection to the words. Caesura is used to pause for a moment and emphasize something. Kenning is used to aid in describing someone.

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