Imagine a slimy swamp like place where only the most horrid monsters with the most disgusting features live, this is the fen. Now imagine A wonderful bright beautiful hall that’s almost castle like, these are the two elements of the story Beowulf a New Telling.
The Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, was originally told orally then later was written down anonymously in the Old English language. It is not known who or whom wrote this poem down. What we do know is that Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem of the English language; the original has suffered irreparable damage in a fire. “The poem dates back to 1000 AD”
The poem Beowulf, believed to be written between 650 and 800 by a group of monks, contains several complex characters that have sparked discussions throughout the years. Scholars still continue to ponder over the unanswered questions about characters, such as whether Grendel is monster or human, whether Grendel is evil or not, and what the monsters in Beowulf signify. Other important, though less accepted questions include whether Beowulf is really a hero, or is in actuality a monster, and what allows the characters to be classified as either evil, or not evil. Because both sides of these arguments can be sufficiently supported with textual evidence, it is the reader’s responsibility to defend an appropriate answer. There are no
more than use art to rid of unwelcome spirits. Shields, churches, even the handles of swords have been known to have pictures, or art, on them by this time. Much like Egyptians, important members of society would generally be buried with artifacts to keep them protected in the afterlife. Which is a peculiar sight to see since the Anglo-Saxons did not believe the afterlife as pagans, but as stated, they were converted into Christians when the St. Augustine came to the pagans.
The Anglo-Saxons’ cultures and traditions are rooted in their beliefs of the perfect hero. Their ideal hero has many key characteristics influenced by their culture including courage, strength, bravery, thick skin, loyalty, humbleness, and the ability to create strong trustworthy friendships. Beowulf is an epic poem that exhibits the ideal Anglo-Saxon hero. The Anglo-Saxon traditions illustrated in Beowulf accurately represent the Anglo-Saxon traditions of the time period. This is accomplished through the distinct correlation of heroic characteristics between Beowulf and the culture’s traditional depiction of an Anglo-Saxon hero.
While the author of Beowulf did not initially intend for the epic to become one of the most researched and foundational works in the English language, and therefore, did not go into much detail about its setting and surrounding political structures, the unnamed writer left behind important clues regarding Scandinavian and English political, economic, geographical, and societal bodies. Although not much is known about the author, it is evident through their writing, especially in the societal structure mentioned in the epic, that they were of English descent, specifically, born in the middle of seventh and end of tenth century England, according to Seamus Heaney in the introduction to his translation of Beowulf. Societal clues are the most prominent in proving this claim, as they merge Scandinavian and Old English structures, and at its most form, Beowulf is a Scandinavian tale told through an Englishman’s persepctive.
From 1805 until the present there have been introduced an abundance of paraphrases, translations, adaptations, summaries, versions and illustrations of Beowulf in modern English and in foreign languages due mostly to two reasons: the desire to make the poem accessible, and the desire to read the exotic (Osborn 341). It is the purpose of this essay to present a brief history of this development of the popularity of the poem and then compare some of the translations with respect to some more difficult passages in the poem Beowulf.
Beowulf is an epic poem that was originally told between the eighth and eleventh centuries. It is the first surviving epic to be written in the English language. The single existing copy dates from around the tenth century, but some scholars believe its dates from the early eleventh century. It was found in a large volume that contained stories about mythical creatures and people. It is said that two different scribes copied the poem, most likely using an existing copy (Heaney 6). During the period of 1066 and the reformation the volume
Heroes are forgotten, but legends never die. England’s “ mother poem” was written by an anonymous Christian monk during the Anglo-Saxon period. It was composed circa 700 A.D. and 1,000 A.D. Beowulf is a poem that shares Christian and Pagan references. Consisting of three literary devices of imagery, tone, and style , thus making it the “ mother poem” of England.
Before the story of Beowulf was written down, the tale was spoken through the oral traditions characteristic of Anglo-Saxon Literature. This oral ritual was mindful not only of the particular event and time in which it was recited, but also of the receptive nature of its audience. Moreover, these stories contained repetitions of key elements and themes as a way to stress their significance. Ultimately, however, all the stories told through the oral tradition usually mirrored the principles and ideals of the Anglo-Saxon culture at the time they were told. This tradition remains ever-present within the modern text of the medieval poem of Beowulf. Two notable tales of character in the poem gain deeper nuance when placed in Beowulf’s
Beowulf is an epic poem whose earliest surviving copy was written in 1000 A.D. The story consists of three thousand one hundred and eighty two lines that follow the life of the title character. The original author of the epic poem is unknown mainly because it started as a verbal tale passed down orally through the ages. Finally someone wrote it down in a document now called the Nowell Codex. The epic tale is centered on Beowulf and his actions in an adventure to repay a debt owed by his father to Hrothgar, a Danish king. A gargantuan monster that is terrorizing Hrothgar’s mead hall is Beowulf’s target and Beowulf sails across the sea to aid his father’s
Beowulf is a character that exudes the qualities of an epic hero. Throughout this epic, Beowulf is seen as a hero to many and a major threat to the evils he encounters. The values of the Anglo-Saxons, who would have read and admired this poem, included loyalty, bravery, and honor. Beowulf’s character exemplifies all of these qualities to the highest degree. The values and traditions of the original composers of this story cause Beowulf’s character to be the perfect example of an Anglo-Saxon epic hero.
Beowulf is an interesting, old English epic poem. Often referred to as one the most important works of Old English Literature. The author of the poem is unknown, but the date the poem was made into a manuscript is c. 975 – 1010 CE. Although, the manuscript was damaged from a fire in 1731. The poem of Beowulf is set in Scandinavia c. 700 – 1000 CE. It starts with Hrothgar, king of Danes building a mead hall for his loyal followers. Then Grendel, the monster hears everyone’s joyfulness and is over come with jealousy. The over jealous Grendel decides to attack the men in their sleep. No one is brave nor strong enough to stand up to Grendel either. This goes on for 12 years until a young warrior by the name of Beowulf over hears of Hrothgar’s troubles.
There is considerable debate as to whether the poem Beowulf is an epic narrative poem or an heroic elegy. Which is it. This essay intends to present both sides of the story.