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A folk epic is a long narrative poem, which has distinct elements written by an unknown author. Those elements include telling of a complete story, the inclusion of magic versus reality and heroes that seem super-human, yet are mortal. There are seven in all and they all can be found in the Old English tale of Beowulf. Because of this, Beowulf has been classified as an epic. The first element of an epic that Beowulf …

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…and today we reward our soldiers with medals and make them national heroes. The poem clearly takes the form of a folk epic. The author of the work is unknown and a distinctive writing style is observed. Additionally, Beowulf is characterized as a heroic individual who possesses tremendous strength and courage in constant conflict with evil in a supernatural form. All these characteristics contained in the poem specifically direct to an epic form of writing.