Beowulf is an Old English epic poem of unknown authorship, dating as recorded in the Nowell Codex manuscript from between the 8th and the early 11th century, set in Denmark and Sweden. Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf has been the subject of much scholarly study, theory, speculation, discourse, and, at 3182 lines, has been noted for its length.
In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, battles three antagonists: Grendel, who has been attacking the resident warriors of a mead hall called Heorot in Denmark; Grendel's mother; and an unnamed dragon. The last battle takes place later in life, after returning to Geatland (modern southern Sweden), where Beowulf has become king. In the final battle, Beowulf is fatally wounded. After his death his retainers bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.
The common English pronunciation of "Beowulf" is /ˈbeɪ.ɵwʊlf/. In Old English the "ēo" in Bēowulf was (probably) a diphthong, although its phonetic value is disputed (it is usually cited either as [ˈbeːo̯wʊlf] or [ˈbeːəwʊlf]).
- Comparison of various English translations
- Another translation comparison site, but with a broader range of material
- Resources for the Study of Beowulf - University of Nevada, Reno
- Beowulf resources
- Beowulf manuscript in The British Library's Online Gallery
- Beowulf Full text and audio.
- Full summary of Beowulf
- Simple Plot Summary of Beowulf - At Literapedia
- Beowulf study guide, themes, quotes, teacher resources