Beowulf: Fact or Fiction

Jermey Buehner, Jacob Gardner

HISTORY

Anglo-Saxons is a name given to Germanics that lived in what is now Denmark during the first millennium (Waldman). Courage and skill was highly valued in battle, as reflected in Beowulf, one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon poems (Burns). Courage and skill was highly valued in battle, as reflected in Beowulf, one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon poems (Burns). The main land of Britain was settle by the Anglo-Saxons and took to a new name “angle-land”(Allen).The main language of the Anglo-Saxons was known as old English (Allen).


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BACKGROUND OF BOUWULF

Beowulf is an old English epic poem that is three thousand one hundred and eighty-two lines long. It is the longest Germanic poem of its time. Beowulf told the tale of a young hero who fought a monster and its mother, then died while fighting a dragon to save his kingdom. The story of Beowulf set a standard for heroes today and reflected themes of courage, fate, and bravery ("Beowulf").

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ARCHEOLOGICAL

Sutton Hoo was excavated by and archeologist named Basil Brown in 1938. In the first mound he had found a burial ground and deep under that lay a 27 meter long oak ship. In the multiple mounds lay possessions of the Anglo-Saxon, hinting that they thought highly of death ("ExcavationsatSuttonHoo").

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FACTUAL CONNECTIONS

The connections I found in my research were that the Anglo-Saxons valued courage and that they were very wealthy. “Death will be softer, Leaving life and this people Ive ruled So long, if I look at this last of all prizes.” (Allen. P.67) and, Anglo-Saxon England had the richest vernacular literature of early medieval Europe (“Anglo-Saxons”) shows that the Anglo-Saxons were wealthy and liked their treasures. Courage was the other thing they greatly valued, “Their courage was great” (Allen. P. 52) and “highly valued courage and skill in battle”(Burns) shows the connection that courage was highly looked upon.


OPINIONS

In my opinion I feel that Beowulf was a close representation of their ideal hero and a goal for them to achieve in battle. The Anglo-Saxons believed in dying with their treasure, the same way the Beowulf wanted to. Beowulf believed in fate as did the Anglo-Saxons, which gave them courage in battle. Skill in battle was highly thought of in their culture, this is why Beowulf fought Grendel with his bare hands. I believe there is a strong connection between this hero in the story and the heroes of their culture.


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SPACER

WORKS CITED



English, Edward D. "Beowulf." Encyclopedia of the Medieval World, vol. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=EMW0194&SingleRecord=True (accessed October 2, 2014).



"Excavations at Sutton Hoo." British Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.


Waldman, Carl, and Catherine Mason. "Anglo-Saxons." Encyclopedia of European Peoples. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=EEPI0034&SingleRecord=True (accessed September 30, 2014).



Burns, William E. "Anglo-Saxons." In Ackermann, Marsha E., Michael Schroeder, Janice J. Terry, Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur, and Mark F. Whitters, eds. Encyclopedia of World History: The Expanding World, 600 CE to 1450, vol. 2. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=WHII012&SingleRecord=True (accessed September 30, 2014).



English, Edward D. "Anglo-Saxons." Encyclopedia of the Medieval World, vol. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=EMW0080&SingleRecord=True (accessed October 2, 2014).