What are the characteristics of Beowulf


The hero Beowulf fights a monster called Grendel. This picture by Grendel is from a book from 1908.

Beowulf is the name of a story from the Middle Ages. It was written in the old English language. It is the longest and most important work in this language. The story takes its name from the hero Beowulf. That might mean something like "bee-wolf".

The story is made up in itself. But there are some people and events in it that really did exist. The period around the year 500 AD is described. Although the language is old English, the story takes place in Denmark.

Today the Beowulf story is known only from a single manuscript. This was probably not written until around the year 1000 AD. The manuscript was then found in the collection of Robert Bruce Cotton. He lived around 1600. The story was first printed around 200 years later.

What is Beowulf doing?

Beowulf is a young hero from the Gauten people. He hears of a monster that threatens a king in Denmark and kills many people. Beowulf goes there to help. When the monster attacks again, he fights and rips off his arm. The monster later dies from this.

Then Beowulf has to kill the monster's mother. Years later, Beowulf is already the king of the Gauts. This time he is supposed to kill a dragon. He succeeds in doing this, but he also dies in the process.

What was done with the story later?

The old story of the hero Beowulf is very exciting in itself. It is reminiscent of today's horror stories. It's about a brave hero who is not afraid of the unknown. But the story was written like a poem in verse.

Several writers have turned this into novels. Michael Chrichton's novel became a hit film in 1995. In it, the hero is an Arab who meets Vikings. Together they fight against a monster that is reminiscent of the Neanderthals. J. R. R. Tolkien also read the Beowulf story. He adopted some ideas for his story “Lord of the Rings”.

  • The first page of the famous manuscript with the Beowulf story.

  • Beowulf travels to Denmark.

There are also other search results for “Beowulf” from Blinde Kuh and Ask Finn.

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