Examines Old English poem’s origins, heroism, characters, warrior values, focusing on issues of youth & old age.
The world of the epic Old English poem Beowulf represents a little known society from what we today call the Dark Ages, that era in the first millennium after the fall of Rome and before the rise of Europe as an entity with a written history. The world of the warrior Beowulf is a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic influences with a Christian overlay in the existing manuscript. The world depicted is reminiscent of various Scandinavian epics as well, with warlords who are served as kings by their followers, and with a complex system of gift-giving and the sharing of bounty among the leader and his followers. The poem is in a dialect of Old English and sounds very alien as a result,
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