6 December 2007


Very soon, we are going to publish an old English epic, the epic of Beowulf, the most precious relic of Old English, and, indeed, of all early Germanic literature. I am sure that you would like to see the newest movie version too. Just released.

The following is a brief outline of some general facts of Beowulf.

The poem was originally transcribed in Old English sometime between 720 and 796 a.d. making it one of the oldest historical texts relating to this period in time.
The poem itself tells the story of a noble Swede (Beowulf) who saves a troubled group of Danes from a deformed monster known as ‘Grendel’ and its mother. Beowulf later encounters a dragon which mortally wounds him, thus ending the tale. During the years since, the story has been greatly Christianized to depict Beowulf as being a servant of the monotheistic God, and Grendel being a servant of ‘hell’, no doubt in an attempt to cover up the pagan origins of the text.
The story has numerous translations into modern English, most famous of which by Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, which won the Whitbread prize in 1999. English, Old English and MP3 audio versions of the poem are available in the public domain. The story is also seen to have been an influence on the modern fantasy genre, most notable of which being J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy which bears many resemblances the Beowulf tale.

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