What Happens in Beowulf? An Interesting Summary

Posted: August 26, 2016 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

A short plot synopsis of Beowulf – and a critical analysis

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 line of the poem means. In the following post, we offer a short summary of Beowulf, and an introduction to its main themes.

The poem continues to enjoy popularity, thanks to a bestselling translation by Seamus Heaney and a translation by J. R. R. Tolkien

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