Alliteration in Beowulf

Alliteration Examples in Beowulf:

VIII 1

"For fear of a feud were forced to disown him...."   (VIII)

The theme of being cast out of one's society for having committed a crime or politically incorrect action is present from Homeric through Anglo-Saxon literature. Usually, distant relatives or family friends take in the fugitive, as Hrothgar takes in Ecgtheow. The weight of such an exile is conveyed through the three alliterative f words of the line.

"came from the moor then           Grendel going..."   (XII)

In Anglo-Saxon, Grendel com ("came… Grendel") is repeated three times for alliterative effect and suspense as the monster approaches Heorot. Many translators, however, have chosen to translate com as "journeyed," "approached," "trod," or other verbs indicating deliberate forward motion.