Wiglaf the only thane to stand with beowulf against the dragon, he is the geats future king and a symbol of loyalty within the socialpolitical structure of the. Every generation can find in beowulf s battles a reflection of their own most painful and glorious struggles. He is known as one of the first great kings of the danes. Medieval books, medieval fantasy, british literature, beowulf, viking warrior, norse mythology, anglo saxon, old english, character concept. It uses different dialects of old english for the spelling. The date of composition is a matter of contention among scholars. Beowulf an early danish king and the son of scyld, but not the same character as the hero of the poem. Because beowulf accounts for nearly a tenth of all the lines of old english poetry that have survived, its impossible to reconstruct in any detail the literary context in which it was written.
It is considered to be one of the most important books in anglosaxon literature. Beowulf a mighty warrior and noble individual, the poems hero, with the strength of 30 in his handgrip, comes to the aid of hrothgars danes. Victoria symons puzzles out the meaning of monsters in beowulf. The story of beowulf had probably been passed down orally for many generations before beowulf was written. Many private antiquarians and book collectors, such as sir robert cotton. Beowulf, heroic poem, the highest achievement of old english literature. The dragon is so well suited to bring about beowulf s downfall, in fact, that some readers have seen it as a symbolic representation of death itself. Beowulf is an old english epic poem consisting of 3,182 alliterative lines. It is one of the most important works of old english literature. Character list cliffsnotes study guides book summaries. Although beowulf himself is not mentioned in any other anglosaxon.
The poem is set in scandinavia, although it was written in england. Beowulf thus offers an anglosaxon supplement to biblical and classical. Its creation dates to between the 8th and the 11th centuries, the only surviving manuscript dating to circa 1010. Monsters and heroes in beowulf the british library. Beowulf is an old english epic poem, which consists of 3,182 long lines. Beowulf beowulf, norse vikings, anglo saxon, book characters, folklore.
It has reached national epic status in england although its setting is scandinavia, not the british isles. The protagonist of the epic, beowulf is a geatish hero who fights the monster grendel, grendels mother, and a firebreathing dragon. Characters the dragon the dragon is a mighty and glamorous opponent, an appropriate match for beowulf. Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who. Three characters in the poem prophesy the imminent destruction of the geats once their. About beowulf beowulf summary character list lines 1193 lines 194709 lines 710915 lines 9161250 lines 12511649 lines 16501887 lines 18882199 lines 22002537 lines 25382819 lines 28203182 related links citations. In his youth, he personifies all of the best values of the heroic culture. Because his ruthless and miserable existence is part of the retribution exacted by god for cains murder of abel, grendel fits solidly within the ethos of vengeance that governs the world of the poem. Every book on your english syllabus summed up in a quote from the office. Its possible that the beowulf poet was drawing on earlier written versions of the story, or. Beowulf, old english, and anglosaxon culture grendels mother, british literature. A demon descended from cain, grendel preys on hrothgars warriors in the kings meadhall, heorot.571 696 902 1153 1171 576 160 1245 46 953 1310 397 1313 598 1399 451 428 1150 1213 1477 250 1207 292 1242 627 1 1206 1443 1356 1007 1104 1119 798 438