Beowulf Explained in Context

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Afterwards, the angry fire-breathing dragon launched a second assault, capturing the hero and shooting a fiery blast towards him. The blast pierced Beowulf’s neck with its sharp teeth, causing his blood to cover his body. Reports state that Weohstan’s courageous descendant noticed the king was also in peril beside him and revealed his inherent bravery and strength. Without hesitation, he swiftly thrust his sword into the enemy’s lower abdomen, causing the flames to diminish.

An Explanation of the Epic Poem: Beowulf

“I am a member of Hygelac’s band, known for courage,” said the brave Get leader, confidently wearing his helmet. “My name is Beowulf.”

After 340 lines, Beowulf introduces himself to King Hrothgar and begins his remarkable adventures. The composition of the poem Beowulf took place in the West Saxon dialect, a language widely spoken by the residents of Wessex in Southern England during the seventh to tenth centuries.

In 449 B.C., England experienced an invasion by German tribes – the Jutes, Angles, Saxons, and Frisians. These tribes settled in England and displaced the native Celts towards the west. As a result, England was divided into different kingdoms with unique dialects. Northumberland and Mercia were located in the east while Kent, Sussex, and Cornwall resided in the south.

In 597, Saint Augustine was sent by the Roman Catholic Church to convert the English people to Christianity. He arrived in southern England and met with Aethelbert, the king of Kent. Aethelbert’s wife, Berta, who was a Christian princess from Frankish lands, helped increase Augustine’s influence. However, establishing an archbishopric in London proved challenging for Augustine as it fell within pagan tribal territory.

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