What Happens in Beowulf? A Summary

Some interesting thoughts here on a classic, with references to J.R.R. Tolkien’s take on it.

Interesting Literature

What happens in Beowulf, the jewel in the crown of Anglo-Saxon poetry? The title of the poem is probably the most famous thing about it – that, and the fact that a monster named Grendel features at some point. But because the specific details of the story are not widely known, numerous misconceptions about the poem abound. When was Beowulf written? This is a matter of some conjecture, with guesses ranging anywhere between the eighth century and the first half of the eleventh century. Critics can’t even agree on what the first word of the poem is. The poem continues to enjoy popularity, thanks to a bestselling translation by Seamus Heaney and a translation by J. R. R. Tolkien, which was only published in 2014. We’re here to offer a brief overview of the plot of Beowulf, along with some interpretations of the poem. So, to begin, a brief…

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~ by F.T. McKinstry on January 5, 2015.

 
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