The epic poem Beowulf is a story of heroes and monsters, good and evil. The poem tells about the accomplishments and deeds of a legendary Geatish hero who first rids the Danish kingdom of Hrothgar of two demonic monsters: Grendel and Grendel's mother. Later in the story, Beowulf meets a dragon, kills it with the help of Wiglaf, but dies of wounds.
No one knows who wrote Beowulf. It was not really written in the way that literature is written now. It is an epic poem, meant to be spoken aloud, very few of them were ever written down, and very few of them survived into modern times.
Known as the first poem of the English literature, Beowulf is the major literary monument of Old English literature and of Anglo-Saxon England. The original work was written around the year 1000. The myth that Beowulf embodies has captured the modern imagination and placed the poem among the masterpieces of world literature. The poem documents the values, questions, and attitudes of the time and explores themes that are still engaging and fascinating. Beowulf is the oldest known piece of literature in English.
Main Characters Of The Play
Beowulf: The title character and hero. He is first the prince of the Geats and becomes their King. He is often referred to as the son of Edgetheow.
Hothgar: The old, once great King of the Danes whose hall, Heorot is attacked by Grendel.
Grendel: The monster who attacks Heorot. He attacks Heorot because he is jealous of the friendships and happiness of the Danes.
Grendel's Mother: Has no name of her own. She is a monster and gives Beowulf just as difficult fight as her son does.
The Dragon: The enemy that finally kills Beowulf. It guards a great tresuarehoard, and when...
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...be different. Mothers and fathers will weep again for their dead children. The black raven, the wolf and the eagle will find a feast on the battlefield. The Geats will be people wandering without a homeland once our enemies come in upon us.'
It appears that Beowulf's death signals the end of the Geatish people and the glory they won during Beowulf's reign.
The Norton Anthology
New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company
R.D. Fulk (1991). Interpretation of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology
Indiana University Press
Harold Bloom (1987). Beowulf: Modern Critical Interpretations
New York: Chelsea House Publishers
Stanly B. Greenfield (1982). A Readable Beowulf
Southern Illinois University Press
Donald K. Fry (1968). The Beowulf Poet
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
George Clark (1990). Beowulf
Boston: Twayne Publishers
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