Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beowulf - Fact or Fiction?

The main character and hero of the Geats, Beowulf, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose great hall, Heorot, is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills both Grendel and Grendel's mother, the latter with a magical sword.

This is a very popular poetic form of folklore, heroic legend, mighty myth or whatever you want to call it; although many people still debate over whether these tales are actually fact or merely fiction. ...I'll get to that towards the end of this post. Anyway, if you really have a lot of time on your hands, which I don't, and you'd like to read the entire poem about Beowulf that is split/divided into 12 episodes, go here: http://www.lone-star.net/literature/beowulf/

Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins "into the middle of affairs" or simply, "in the middle," which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity. Although the poem begins with Beowulf's arrival, Grendel's attacks have been going on for some time. The poet who composed Beowulf, while objective in telling the tale, nonetheless uses a certain style to maintain excitement and adventure within the story. [per Wikipedia]

The life of the hero Beowulf is depicted in this great Anglo-Saxon poem to the fullest; an elaborately decorated history of characters and their families are spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, friendship, debts owed & repaid, and champions the values of honor, friendship, and deeds of valor.

Death of Beowulf / Beowulf and the Dragon: When Beowulf was an old man, he was faced with a difficult challenge from yet another monster. It was a vicious dragon that was attacking the Geats. Beowulf and a selected group of brave warriors went out to attack this malign being. As the struggle became apparent, after Beowulf's sword was unable to pervade the dragon's tough, scaly skin, his "brave warriors" that were there to help, started to all flee in fear that they would all be killed. It looked like Beowulf was doomed, when the dragon grabbed him by the neck, but the one brave warrior who stayed (Wiglaf), stabbed at the dragon's stomach while Beowulf worked away on the monster with his knife. The combined effort was enough to slay the beast, but it was too late for Beowulf, as he had been poisoned by the venomous breath of the fierce dragon. Just before dying, Beowulf proclaimed that Wiglaf was his successor and he handed him down all his riches, weapons and armor. Beowulf was buried in a tumulus (a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave) by the sea......

There is quite some debate over whether these poetic legends of Beowulf have some truth to them or not. Many aspects of these tales may not fall under the myth category. For one, I never doubted that there were beastly monsters, dragons, etc., in the past. Hey, just think, there were once something called dinosaurs, too. Ha-ha! It just amazes me sometimes, how people can be all against there being such things as Cyclopes, Ogres, Fire-breathing Dragons, Giants, and so on, but yet have no problem knowing that this place used to be crawling with giant thunder lizards such as T-Rex, along with other massive creatures and 4-legged monstrosities during the dinosaur era. Hey, if you get some time, just do a quick web search using the phrase "Beowulf - Fact or Fiction?" and see what ya find...

To check out DVDs, Blu-ray Videos, etc., related to this mythical Beowulf character, click on the image below or follow the link under it:

'Click Here' for a selection of Beowulf Videos via Amazon!

---End of Post "Beowulf - Fact or Fiction?"


  1. With the exception of Beowulf, which may have been a nom de guerre, and the creatures he kills, virtually all the other characters in the people mentioned in the epic can be shown to have actually lived during that time period. Makes you wonder.

  2. The name Beowulf may have been a pseudonym or whatever, and the creatures he supposedly kills may have been dinosaur-related, sort of like large dragons, etc.
    Yeah, it does make ya wonder, albeit at times it is easier to just classify things as fictitious baloney, but the more you think about it, there could have also been a lot of factual aspects of this particular story...


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