- 1 why was beowulf written
- 1.1 Why is Beowulf considered a hero?
- 1.2 Why was Beowulf written in Old English and not Latin?
- 1.3 What We Know About the Anonymous Author of Beowulf
- 1.4 Why is Beowulf the Ideal hero - Essay Example
why was beowulf written
Why is Beowulf considered a hero?
Beowulf is called upon again to defeat this monster. Beowulf puts on his armour and takes the sword Hrunting and descends into the monster’s lair. Grendel’s mother quickly grabs Beowulf and takes him to the battle arena. Once there, Beowulf fights and finds his sword cannot pierce the monster’s hide. So once again, Beowulf throws his sword aside and fights hand-to-hand. Yet, he could not defeat her with his hands alone. Then Beowulf sees, “hanging on the wall, a heavy, Sword, hammered by giants, strong And blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons.” Taking the sword and holding it high above his head he strikes the monster in the neck cutting deep into the skin, breaking bones and all. Thus ending his second heroic battle with a mythical beast and proving that he is indeed worthy of praise. Yet, this is not the greatest of his deeds.
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Why was Beowulf written in Old English and not Latin?
2.The question of whether Beowulf was passed down through oral tradition prior to its present manuscript form has been the subject of much debate, and involves more than the mere matter of how it was composed. Rather, given the implications of the theory of oral-formulaic composition and oral tradition, the question concerns how the poem is to be understood, and what sorts of interpretations are legitimate.
The poem fell into obscurity for decades, and its existence did not become widely . Attempts to find classical or Late Latin influence or analogue in Beowulf are . uses it that the poet who composed Beowulf could not have written the poem in Latin.
Beowulf is one of the most magnificent works of English literature. Few other stories capture the heroism and grandeur exhibited by Beowulf in fights with the three vicious monsters he encounters: the demon Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon. Likewise, few stories capture the sorrow of the epic's tragic conclusion. Clearly, the author of Beowulf was one of England's first great authors. But who was he?
If you glance at a copy of Beowulf, you will likely see a name on the cover. However, the name you see does not belong to the author of Beowulf; rather, it belongs to the translator (a few of whom include Seamus Heaney, Francis B. Gummere, and J.R.R. Tolkien). The reason for this is that historians are not sure who wrote the original Beowulf manuscript. Thus, sadly, the author of one of the greatest works of English literature remains anonymous. However, historians do know about the author of Beowulf, even if they do not know who the author was.
What We Know About the Anonymous Author of Beowulf
Although historians cannot identify the individual author of Beowulf, they can provide information about the type of poet who crafted this epic. First, let us consider when the poet lived.
The most heroic events in Beowulf--the protagonists fights with the monsters--are clearly fictional, but many of the poem's characters are historical figures who lived during the late 5th century AD. Consequently, the narrative must have been written after that date. The oldest surviving Beowulf manuscript was written c. 1000, meaning that the original work could have been composed at any time between those dates. According to J.R.R. Tolkien--best known for his Lord of the Rings saga but also a respected literary scholar--Beowulf was almost certainly written by an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon poet shortly after England's conversion to Christianity.
The Anglo-Saxons were not indigenous to England; the Angle and Saxon tribes had emigrated from Europe, invaded England, conquered the native Britons, and settled there themselves. Thus the Anglo-Saxons had a similar heritage to the Geats, Swedes, and Danes--a few of the tribes who appear in the Beowulf narrative. This context explains why the author of Beowulf--himself a resident of England--chose Scandinavian and not English events as the basis for his poem.
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I'm going to leave this answer up, however, it is quite a terrible attempt at an answer.
a. A Dane who knew Old English decided to write a piece about a Danish hero as propaganda, or someone who really didn't know their target audience.
b. An Anglo-Saxon wrote a story about a Danish hero.
There isn't a definitive answer. Especially not: "because it actually happened," and someone thought to themselves, "SURELY people hundreds of years from now will find this important." Also taking into consideration that paper and ink was made by hand. This would mean that to produce one copy of Beowulf would be to kill an animal; prepare its hide for use; make their own ink; and write and reproduce Beowulf by hand. Each copy. So, I really don't think the answer is as simple as the question.
Why is Beowulf the Ideal hero - Essay Example
Why is Beowulf the Ideal hero
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The researcher proves that the journeys undertaken by Gilgamesh and Beowulf are not only personal journeys of self-discovery, but journeys that establish the values of their cultures. While their personal adventures and situations are unique, the travels of Beowulf and Gilgamesh are representative of each human’s quest to find purpose in life.