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Beowulf Essay & Criticism

Gareth Hinds
This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Beowulf.
This section contains 984 words
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Critical Overview

If the Beowulf manuscript is not the author's autograph (the author's own handwriting), as claimed by Kevin Kiernan, then the first critical appreciation we have of the poem is the manuscript itself. Someone thought enough to copy it down or to have it copied on good vellum by two fairly good scribes - incurring a sizable expense for the year 1000. Another indication of early popularity may be in its apparent influence on another Old English poem, Andreas, which survives in a manuscript kept at Exeter Cathedral in Devon since the mid-eleventh century. After that there is no sign of the poem for well over five hundred years.

Laurence Nowell acquired the eleventh-century manuscript in the 1560s and wrote his name and date on the top of the first page. The manuscript eventually appeared in the library of a family named Cotton, but it does not appear in either...

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This section contains 984 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Beowulf Study Guide
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Beowulf from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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