Heroism Main Theme in Beowulf - Research Paper
We do not have any definite knowledge about the poet--indeed, we do not even know the date of the poem's composition. Through the study of Old English verse, most scholars believe that the poem was composed much earlier than the Cotton manuscript, between 650 and 800. Some words in Beowulf do not adhere to the scansion of Old English verse; however, using the older forms of the words, dating from the period given, causes the lines to scan correctly. Yet accurately dating the poem is a difficult enterprise since the poem has such a derivative quality. It is evident that the Beowulf poet wished to place his work within an even more ancient tradition. Beowulf directly uses many ancient stories that have been preserved in later texts, such as the legend of and the account of the war at Finnesburh. In addition, the poem is written with the traditional epic diction, with whole phrases taken from the other bards who sang the legends incorporated.
SparkNotes: Beowulf: Study Questions & Essay Topics
Beowulf is an epic poem originally told in the Old English between the 8th and 11th centuries. Beowulf study guide contains literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
The first few lines of Beowulf immediately invoke "courage" as the ultimate form of "greatness." The Spear-Danes are going to be celebrated because of their bravery and heroism before anything else.