Monday, April 2, 2012

B for Beowulf

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! You can visit the Homepage HERE.

Beowulf is the conventional title of an old English heroic poem, consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandanavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.

It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. It's composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century.

In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandanavia, comes to the help of Hroogar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus (burial mound) in Geatland.


  1. I guess you can't expect to defeat a dragon unsinged.

    Beowulf is finally on my Kindle and one of the works I plan to read this year. Thanks for refreshing me as to the gist of it.

  2. Beverly: It is supposed by some that Grendal and his mother were also dragons, but I can't say myself. I'm still checking it out.

    DL: I couldn't pass this one up!

  3. I do love me some Beowulf.

  4. I loved Beowulf. I had to read the original English in a lit class, which was a nightmare. It took 2 hours to translate a page. Even 'the' meant something different back then.