Beowulf; An Old English Epic

Beowulf is one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon age and Old English literature. The date of its composition and authorship is debatable and the only particular dating pertains to the manuscript which was produced between 975 and 1025. This is an old epic poem consisting of 3182 lines.
The story of Beowulf begins in Scandinavia in the 6th century. Beowulf is the hero of Geats, the people of southern Sweeden. He came to the service of King of the Danes Hrothgar, whose mead hall Heorot was attacked by a monster known as Grendel.


After Beowulf kills him, his mother attacked the hall and is also defeated. By killing Grendle’s mother Beowulf becomes the king of Geets. however, now a fire breathing dragon destroys his land and the kingship and peaceful rule of 50 years are challenged. The fight is long and painful for the aging king Beowulf although Wiglaf a kinsman supports Beowulf in the battle. Beowulf kills the dragon but mortally wounded.
The poem ends with his funeral rites and erection of a tower on a headland in his memory.

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