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The praised epic poem Beowulf is the first great heroic poem in Englishliterature The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his youngadult life and into his old age As a young man Beowulf becomes a legendary hero whenhe saves the land of the Danes from the hellish creatures Grendel and his mother Laterafter fifty years pass Beowulf is an old man and a great king of the Geats A monstrousdragon soon invades his peaceful kingdom and he defends his people courageously dyingin the process His body is burned and his ashes are placed in a cave by the sea Byplacing his ashes in the seaside cave people passing by will always remember thelegendary hero and king Beowulf In this recognized epic Beowulf is abound insupernatural elements of pagan associations however the poem is the opposite of paganbarbarism The presentation of the story telling moves fluidly within Christiansurroundings as well as pagan idealsBeowulf was a recited pagan folklore where the people of that time periodbelieved in gods goddesses and monsters Its significance lies in an oral history wherepeople memorized long dense lines of tedious verse Later when a written tradition wasintroduced they began to write the story down on tabletsThe old tale was not first told or invented by the commonly known Beowulf poet This is clear from investigations of the folk lore analogues The manuscript was writtenby two scribes around AD 1000 in late West Saxon the literary dialect of that period Itis believed that the scribes who put the old materials together into their present formwere Christians and that his poem reflects a Christian tradition The first scribe copiedthree prose pieces and the first 1939 lines of Beowulf while the second scribe copied therest of Beowulf and Judith In 1731 a fire swept through the Cottonian Librarydamaging many books and scorching the Beowulf codex In 1786-87 after themanuscript had been deposited in the British Museum the Icelander Grinur JonssonThorkelin made two
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