Sunday, November 28, 2010

(Book #40) Beowulf

'Beowulf' is a great example of archetypal hero mythology ,written by an unknown hand sometime between the 8th and 11th centuries. While not as lengthy as the works of Homer or Virgil, I still place this epic poem in the same category as these ancient classics. The story of Beowulf, while dealing with some "evil", antagonistic creatures and larger than life embellishments, still feels real enough that one could believe that the story may be rooted in actual events (I'll leave that to actual historians to determine). It was a surprisingly quick read with this particular translation and since I hadn't read it before (or seen that recent movie) it was interesting and held my attention. When undertaking this piece of writing, I discovered it was important to read the words as poetry, and not as a straight story or novel. This added another level of drama and richness to the story, and helped me understand why Beowulf is held in such high regard and how it has influenced countless other stories and variations that have been written since.

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