Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest. More than 3,000 lines long, Beowulf relates the exploits of its eponymous hero, and his successive battles with a monster named Grendel, with Grendel’s revengeful mother and with a dragon which was guarding a hoard of treasure.
- Beowulf Projectmac's Literature Classes Online
- Beowulf Projectmac's Literature Classes List
- Beowulf Projectmac's Literature Classes Study
The story of Beowulf
Beowulf is a classic tale of the triumph of good over evil, and divides neatly into three acts. The poem opens in Denmark, where Grendel is terrorising the kingdom. The Geatish prince Beowulf hears of his neighbours’ plight, and sails to their aid with a band of warriors. Beowulf encounters Grendel in unarmed combat, and deals the monster its death blow by ripping off its arm. Recueil translation.
There is much rejoicing among the Danes; but Grendel’s loathsome mother takes her revenge, and makes a brutal attack upon the king’s hall. Beowulf seeks out the hag in her underwater lair, and slays her after an almighty struggle. Once more there is much rejoicing, and Beowulf is rewarded with many gifts. The poem culminates 50 years later, in Beowulf’s old age. Now king of the Geats, his own realm is faced with a rampaging dragon, which had been guarding a treasure-hoard. Beowulf enters the dragon’s mound and kills his foe, but not before he himself has been fatally wounded.
Beowulf Projectmac's Literature Classes Online
The function of allegory, of course, is to point elsewhere, and Drout cites Tom Shippey’s interpretation that begins with the man as the Beowulf-poet, the friends as Beowulf scholars, and the tower as Beowulf, and ends with Tolkien being the only one who understood the poem because of his English descent, “native to that tongue and land. Course Overview British Literature is a robust high school English IV course for 11th and 12th grade students that examines British Literature as it has developed through the ages against an historical backdrop. It exposes students to classic works of fiction and nonfiction, including epics, legends, poetry, histories, novels, and drama from early Anglo-Saxon texts to post-modern pieces. Literature - Beowulf Summary. Beowulf Summary. Beowulf is without doubt the most ancient surviving epic poem of the so called Anglo-Saxon epic tradition. Set in the sixth century in the southwestern part of the contemporary Sweden, the poem begins with a genealogy of the royal dynasty of the Scyldings, or Danes. Beowulf Beowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic in English literature. An unknown bard com.
Beowulf closes with the king’s funeral, and a lament for the dead hero.
When was Beowulf composed?
Nobody knows for certain when the poem was first composed. Beowulf is set in the pagan world of 6th-century Scandinavia, but it also contains echoes of Christian traditions. The poem must have been passed down orally over many generations, and modified by each successive bard, until the existing copy was made at an unknown location in Anglo-Saxon England.
Modern versions of Beowulf
Despite being composed in the Anglo-Saxon era, Beowulf continues to captivate modern audiences. The poem has provided the catalyst for films, plays, operas, graphic novels and computer games. Among the more notable recent versions are the films The 13th Warrior (1999), adapted from the novel Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton (d. 2008); the Icelandic-Canadian co-production Beowulf & Grendel (2005); and Beowulf (2007), starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.
Beowulf has also been translated into numerous languages, including modern English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Telugu (a Dravidian language spoken in India).
Beowulf Projectmac's Literature Classes List
Beowulf Projectmac's Literature Classes Study
Perhaps the most famous modern translation is that by Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate in literature, which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 1999. A children’s version by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman, was published in 2006.