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) is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3,182 alliterative lines.It may be the oldest surviving long poem in Old English and is commonly cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature.Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland (Götaland in modern Sweden) and later becomes king of the Geats.After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. ...a comparative library presenting excerpts from over 100 English language translations of the epic poem Beowulf.Five particular sections of this legendary tale were chosen as points of comparison, allowing a consistent side-by-side evaluation of every edition.

Yet for more than two centuries “hwæt” has been misrepresented as an attention-grabbing latter-day “yo!

” designed to capture the interest of its intended Anglo-Saxon audience urging them to sit down and listen up to the exploits of the heroic monster-slayer Beowulf.

According to an academic at the University of Manchester, however, the accepted definition of the opening line of the epic poem – including the most recent translation by the late Seamus Heaney - has been subtly wide of the mark.

We have heard of the might of the kings” the Old English of “Hwæt! This is despite the research suggesting that the Anglo Saxons made little use of the exclamation mark or indeed much other punctuation beyond the full stop or the occasional semi colon.

We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum, þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon! Although its origins as a folk story brought to England by the pre-Christian Germanic tribes are largely unknown, the poem became an object of academic and popular interest when it was first published in 1815 by the Scandinavian scholar Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin.

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