Greatly considered as the 1st actual masterpiece of English literature, Beowulf describes the exciting adventures of a very good Scandinavian warrior of the 6th century. Its lyric depth and inventive energy are unheard of, and the poem has drastically prompted many very important smooth novelists and poets, such a lot significantly J. R. R. Tolkien, writer of The Lord of the Rings.
Part historical past and half mythology, Beowulf opens within the courtroom of the Danish king the place a terrible demon named Grendel devours males of their sleep each evening. The hero Beowulf arrives and kills the monster, yet pleasure turns to horror while Grendel’s mom assaults the corridor to avenge the demise of her son. eventually positive, Beowulf turns into king himself and ideas peacefully for 50 years until eventually, one darkish day, a foe extra robust than any he has but confronted is aroused—an historic dragon guarding a horde of treasure. once more, Beowulf needs to summon all his energy and braveness to stand the beast, yet this time victory exacts a negative price.
New translation by way of John McNamara. gains an unique map and family tree chart.
John McNamara is Professor of English on the college of Houston, the place he teaches the early languages and literatures of britain, Scotland, and eire, with a distinct specialise in their oral traditions. he's the co-editor of Medieval Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, stories, ideals, and Customs.
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Additional info for Beowulf (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
1563 Lawrence Nowell, dean of Litchfield, inscribes his name on the first page of the Beowulf manuscript. 1631 Sir Robert Cotton, an antiquarian and member of Parliament whose library contains the Beowulf manuscript, dies. 1700 The Cotton library is bequeathed to the British Library. 1731 Much of the British Library is damaged in a fire, and the only surviving Beowulf manuscript is nearly destroyed. 1786 Grimur JɃnsson Thorkelin (1752-1829), an Icelandic archivist and scholar, comes to the British Library searching for documents pertaining to Danish literature and history.
When Beowulf went to report to Hygelac on his Danish expedition, the Geatish king was described with the epithet 舠the slayer of Ongentheow舡 (line 1968), an old king of the Swedes. ) 2. After Hygelac舗s death, his son King Heardred was killed by invading Swedes, thus bringing Beowulf to the throne (lines 2200-2210). 3. After Hygelac舗s death, Queen Hygd offered the throne to Beowulf, who deferred to Heardred. Heardred supported Eanmund and Eadgils, sons of Ohtere, in their feud against their uncle Onela, the Swedish king.
Did it consist, as some scholars have proposed, of people so well versed in Christian teachings, and even in learned theology, that it would have been a monastic community? The answer is by no means clear. We do have the famous letter from Alcuin to the monks of Lindisfarne (797) en-joining them not to include secular heroic narratives in their entertainments. But we also have the even more famous story of the poet Caedmon in Bede舗s History of the English Church and People (731), which shows the members of the monastery at Whitby singing narrative lays, while accompanying themselves on the harp.