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christianity in beowulf
Posted by: Rebekka (
Date: October 18, 2000 04:55PM

if anymore knows anything about the author of Beowlf please help

RE: christianity in beowulf
Posted by: Peter Shearan (
Date: October 19, 2000 02:33PM

My Collier's Encyclopaedia has an article on Beowulf. It runs to over a page of closely written info - but towards the end it talks about the immense amount of scholarly work undertaken on the poem. It ends by saying that '.... most authorities now agree that Beowulf was composed in the eighth century by an English monk learned in the poetry of his native tongue and in Latin writings, and all recognise the greatness of his achievement'.
I hope this helps you?
Regards Peter

RE: christianity in beowulf
Posted by: Jordan289083 (
Date: October 19, 2000 03:58PM

while it's important to note the work on the monk, I think it should be stressed that the nature of the work itself is most likely unattributable to a single author. As with most works grounded in the oral tradition, Beowulf was probably a work that was passed down generation to generation for centuries until it was finally transcribed to a written form by the monk alluded to. I'm not trying to negate the importance of this monk at all... he probably added several artistic interpretations of the work into his transcription of it (as there were probably several different versions of the epic orally availible), and his decisions on which versions to use are examples of artistic transcription. Still, I just wanted to stress that the work itself probably doesn't have a singular author and predates the Monk by several generations.

Granted, I'm no expert and I could be wrong on some points... but this is how I've always understood it. Most early epics are authored more by the collective oral traditions of generations than singular persons.... There's even serious doubt as to whether Homer was a real person or just a figurehead author given to the Illiad and the Odyssey who was a pure fabrication of the Greeks at the time. Just some thoughts to ponder, I guess...


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