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An overview of the historical context of Beowulf.

Michael Pagliaro

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Beowulf

Beowulf is a story of kings and dragons, swords and sorcery.
400 A.D.
2002 March
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
476 A.D.
2002 March
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
Setting of Beowulf
approx. 550 A.D.
500 A.D.
Anglo-Saxons begin settling in Britain
King Arthur defends against them(?)
Saxons completely conquer England
Fall of Roman Empire
Even though it's difficult to read at first, Beowulf is an action-packed story in a rich setting. With a little help to bridge the gap of centuries between you and the original author, you can enjoy the first blockbuster!
The Sutton Hoo Helmet
- Evidence of flourishing culture in Dark Ages Britain
- Site of many other artifacts Beowulf might have used
Thanks to:

Lord of the Rings!
2002 March
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr

- recorded in Old English
- probably by an English monk (some think more than one!)
1000 A.D.
2002 March
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
900 A.D.
Earliest Manuscript
2002 March
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
800 A.D.
Old English
Anglo-Saxon concept of "fate" or personal destiny
Norse mythology tells that the end of world, Ragnarock, is coming, when Yggdrasil, the tree that holds up the world, will die.
Anglo-Saxon Culture
Anglo-Saxon "skops" (bards) sang about Ragnarock and other mythological stories of heroes and monsters called in large
epic poems
Based on their name, what do you think "epic" poems sounded like?
The "heaven" in Norse mythology is Valhalla, where warriors chosen by the Valkyrie for their bravery on Earth can fight and die all day, only to be resurrected to fight again the next.
Christianity is brought to Angle-land by

Augustine founds a
at .
St. Augustine
600 C.E.
Based on their mythology, what kind of outlook do you think the Norse culture had on life?
mead halls
Full transcript