Beowulf

Introduction

Historical background

Story

First battle: Grendel
Second battle: Grendel's mother
Third battle: The dragon

Introduction

Beowulf is the title of an old English heroic epic poem consisting of more than 3000 alternative long lines, commonly cited as one of the most important work Anglo-Saxon literature.
“Nowell Codex“ is a single manuscript that survives,and its composition is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century by an anonymous Anglo Saxon poet.
The manuscript was badly damaged in a fire in 1731 in building wich housed a collection of madieval manuscripts. For many dacades the existence did not bacame widely known again until it was printed in 1815 by the Icelanic scholar Grimur Jonsson Thorkelin.
This poem consist of three battle antagonists:
Grendel; Grendel`s mother and the Dragon.

Historical background

The events describes in the poem take place in the late 5th century,after the Anglo-Saxons has begun migration and settlement in England,before the beginning of the 7th cenuty.
In that time Saxon were either newly arrived or in close contact with their fellow Germanic kinsmen in Scandinavia in Northern Germany.The Beowulf was first composed in the 7th century.

The poem deals with legends,composed for entertainment and does not separate between fiction elements and real historical events.
Scholars agree that many of the personalities of Beowulf also appear in Scandinavian sources.This does not concer only people,but also clans and some of the events.
As far a Sweden is concerned,the dating of the events in the poem has been confirmed by arheological excavatuons indicated by Snorri Sturluson.
In Denmark,recent arheological excavations have revealed that a hall was built in the mid-6th century, exactly the time period of the Beowulf. Three halls,each about 50 meters long,were found during excavation.

Story
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