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Questions tagged [beowulf]

For questions about the Anglo-Saxon epic poem written in Old English about the warrior Beowulf battling Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a dragon. Use with a tag for the translator, such as [seamus-heaney].

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12 votes
1 answer

What is the significance of Grendel being descended from Cain?

In the tale of Beowulf, the monster Grendel is said to be descended from the biblical character of Cain. This was surprising to me, as I'd thought Beowulf was a pre-Christian story given its setting ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer

How does "handwriting" provide evidence for dating Beowulf's composition to "the first half of the eighth century"?

The Wikipedia article for Beowulf has this interesting bit in the "Authorship and date" section: On the other hand, some scholars argue that linguistic, palaeographical (handwriting), ...
bobble's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer

Meaning of lines explaining Hrothgar's ruling in Heorot

I'm reading Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf and when the poet talks about Heorot Hall (lines 71 through 73) he says it would be his throne-room and there he would dispense his God-given ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,792
5 votes
1 answer

Approaching Beowulf scholarship - how to begin?

I'm doing some research on Beowulf for class and I'm aware of some of the major pieces of scholarship (most notably, of course, 'Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics', along with works like Grendel) ...
auden's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer

Is Half-Dane (Healfdene) in Beowulf half Danish and half Swedish?

Clearly he is a Danish king. Does the "Half-Dane" indicate that he is half Swedish?
WolfRevokCats's user avatar