Through success in battle he has become rich and mighty.
Germanic epic poetry For didactics' sake we speak of Pagan and Christian literature written in the Anglo-Saxon period. Since they wrote nothing down until they had become Christianized, and since in many respects Christian ideals and heroic ideals are difficult to reconcile, it is natural that very little poetry has survived that is surely pre-Christian in composition.
However Beowulf, the greatest Germanic epic poem, contains much evidently pre-Christian material, even though the author of the particular form of the poem that has come down to us was a Christian who refers to events of the Old but not the New Testament. Several other short pieces or fragments also seem to reflect the pagan period without Christian colouring.
Yet the vast bulk of Old English poetry is specifically Christian, devoted to religious subjects. Beowulf survives in only one version, in a manuscript now in the British Museum. It is not known when the poem was composed, or by whom. The dating of this copy of Beowulf 's manuscript is still a matter of controversy: We know that Beowulf was admired in the ninth century by King Alfred.
The poem, first called Beowulf inwas first printed in Burton Raffel's translation of Beowulf contains a prologue and 43 numbered sections; other translations do not divide the text into numbered sections.
Interpolated Tales and Inset Stories in Beowulf If you haven’t read Beowulf before, it can be tempting to ignore the inset stories and songs told at various points in the narrative. The contrast between these tales and the action of the novel could scarcely be greater. The mood and action of the tales are savage, violent, and luridly melodramatic. The father-son theme is treated as a brutal, unrelenting kind of warfare. interpolated tales, the narration of the main events in Beowulf is straightforward and chronological. The events start with the founding of a dynasty in the prologue (Tharaud 3) and finish with the death and funeral of Beowulf at the end (Tharaud ).
It is composed of 3, lines, which make it the longest Old English poem. Beowulf's literary composition is traditionally placed in the Northumbria of the age of Bede, who died inthough recently the less well documented Mercia of King Offa, who reigned from tohas found its supporters.
The Plot of the Poem and its Structure. The central hero of the poem is Beowulf, and its main stories are Beowulf's fights against two monsters, a male and a female, Grendel and Grendel's mother, and a dragon.
The poet also introduces a lot of incidental stories and digressions. On the whole the poem tells two stories, the youth and old age of Beowulf, unified by the presence of Beowulf who is the hero of both.
According to the major events in the life of Beowulf, the hero of the Geats, the poem can be divided into two parts. First Part In the first part Beowulf is in his youth and achieves glory in a foreign land by fighting and killing first Grendel, a monster who has been attacking Heorot, the hall of the Danish King Hrothgar, and then Grendel's mother, who comes the next night to avenge her son, in an underwater cave.
The fight in the subterranean cave is fierce, both sides evenly matched in strength, until Beowulf sees a giant sword on the cave wall which he uses to kill the monster and cut off Grendel's head, after which the sword-blade melts.
Beowulf returns triumphant with the sword-hilt and Grendel's head. Second Part In the second part, Beowulf is in his old age, having ruled his country well for fifty years, after the deaths of Hygelac and his son Heardred. Tragedy strikes again and Beowulf goes to fight a dragon who is destroying his people and his realm.
The dragon has guarded an ancient warrior's treasure until a fugitive slave robbed the hoard in order to gain the favour of his lord. Beowulf decided to fight the dragon alone and has a fireproof iron shield made.
At the end of the fight Beowulf, after being mortally wounded and helped by his kinsman Wiglaf, kills the dragon. The poem ends with Beowulf's funeral and a prophecy of disaster for his people, the Geats.
The fight against the dragons is not like the tribal feuds the warriors were involved in because, according to their social code, they had the special duty of vengeance; Grendel and Grendel's mother are not part of that social order: Fighting against Grendel Beowulf chooses the heroic way of life and tests Fate.
Beowulf puts himself in a position from which he cannot withdraw. Doom ultimately claims him, but not until he has fulfilled to its limits the pagan ideal of a heroic life. Features, Themes and Criticism "Beowulf, - writes M.
Alexander, - is a typical heroic poem not only in its central figure but also in its world and its values.
The warriors are either feasting or fighting, they are devoted to glee and glory.Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Müllenhoff’s Beowulf, and Sarrazin’s Beowulf Studien, two of the most important. “The object of the present ‘Notes’,” he says (p. 2), “is to do what I think has not yet been done: namely, to place before the English reader the present position of Continental and British opinion on the leading Beowulf questions.
Beowulf presented Grendel’s head to King Hrotyar, as a reminder of this terrible monster’s reign of terror, and obtained the King’s permission to take the sword he had found in the monster’s lair as a souvenir to his uncle the King of the Geats. interpolated tales, the narration of the main events in Beowulf is straightforward and chronological.
The events start with the founding of a dynasty in the prologue (Tharaud 3) and finish with the death and funeral of Beowulf at the end (Tharaud ). The first is the Sigemund episode that begins on line The story comes from the Icelandic sagas that were popular during the middle ages and foreshadows, in part, Beowulf’s battle with the dragon in the final section .
Write about the interpolated tales in Beowulf and the precise ways they function in the poem. 1. Write a clearly defined introduction.
Group the tales into categories. 3. Refer to specific details in the text.
4. support your argument with brief and apt quations.