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Beowulf Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Beowulf.
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Historical Context

One way to study Wilbur's "Beowulf" is by comparing the poet's time with that of the epic hero's period. Wilbur published "Beowulf" in 1950, just a few years after the end of World War II. During the war, he served as an Army cryptographer and soldier. His infantry division fought in Europe, and Wilbur was in active combat in bloody campaigns for three years. It is interesting to note that he has written few poems directly about the war, although he has said that the experience of battle caused him to become serious about writing poetry.

The epic Beowulf takes place during a period in Europe known as the Migration Age. After the Americans in 1950 wanted to put the war behind them. Many people had lived through World War I (1914-1918), the Great Depression (from 1929 into the late 1930s), and World War II (1939-1945). Many young couples, including Wilbur...

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This section contains 373 words
(approx. 2 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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