Beowulf Fact or Fiction

By: Drakelin Clemmer and Aaron Cowan 5th Period

Historical Context

This epic poem was created during the Anglo-Saxon period (Dean 1). This period viewed the past through legends which gave a mysterious illusion of continuity (Dean 2). These poems and stories of this time were read and retyped by Christian gospels, thus giving these stories references to the Bible (Dean 3). The epic poem of Beowulf was made in England but the poem describes events that took place 500 years earlier in Scandinavia (Allen et al. 40). The only original surviving copy of Beowulf dates from about the year 1000 (Allen et al. 40).
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Background of Beowulf

Many different scholars believe that the poem of Beowulf has three different authors and later when someone wrote it all down that they added all three stories in for more interest (Bloom 1). The only concrete evidence of the poems existences a Beowulf manuscript around 1000 (Bloom 3). Two different scribes copied the poets work in west Saxon, an old literary dialect, and an early editor gave the poem its title (Bloom 3). Scholars have tried to determine where and when the work could have been originated (Bloom 4). The scholars cant find it out because the representation doesn't symbolize a specific time period (Bloom 5).

Archeological Finds

In 2000, a rescue dig examined the footprint of the planned National Trust Visitor Centre, revealing nineteen inhumations and seventeen early Anglo-Saxon cremations ("Sutton..." 1).

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The horse was male, about 14.2 hands high, it had been sacrificed as part of the burial ritual, which was not unusual in Anglo-Saxon funerary practice ("Sutton..." 2).
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Mound 17 covered an Anglo-Saxon man and his horse the young man was laid in a wooden coffinIn and in the corner of the grave lay a large deposit which was a splendid horse bridle and harness ("Sutton..." 3).
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The silver in the Mound 1 burial is the largest collection that was found in the Anglo-Saxon burial depositIt, some archeologist say that it may have been given as a diplomatic gift to the East Anglian Royal House ("Sutton..." 4).

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Factual connections

"Call and the poets clear songs, sung" (Allen et al. 42). The refrenece to God shows the influence of Christianty on the Beowulf Poet (Allen et al. 45).

Opinions

The findings of the Anglo-Saxons is very interesting. It takes the past and lets us know how they lived in the early era. It tells us how they lived their everyday lives and how they lived a long time.
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Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, ed. "Background to Beowulf." Beowulf, Bloom's Guides. Chelsea House Publishing, 2008. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 24 Sept. 2014

Dean, Paul. "Beowulf and the Passing of Time: Part 1." English Studies 3 (1994). Quoted as "History and the Passage of Time." in Bloom, Harold, ed. Beowulf, Bloom's Guides. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2006. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 26 Sept. 2014
McDougal, Holt, British Literature. United States of America: Houghton, 2010. Print.