A Critical Companion to Beowulf by Andy Orchard

By Andy Orchard

Beowulf is the simplest recognized and such a lot heavily studied literary paintings surviving from Anglo-Saxon England, and the fashionable reader is confronted with a bewildering quantity and diversity of interpretations approximately such easy concerns because the date, provenance, and importance of the poem. A serious significant other to Beowulf addresses those and different matters, reviewing and synthesising past scholarship, in addition to delivering clean views. After an preliminary creation to the poem, cognizance is concentrated on such concerns because the manuscript context and ways to relationship the poem; the actual sort, diction, and constitution of this such a lot idiosyncratic of outdated English texts; the historical past to the poem (considered no longer easily with appreciate to ancient and mythical fabric, but additionally within the context of fantasy and fable); the explicit roles of chosen person characters, either significant and minor; and the unique meant viewers and perceived objective of the poem. a last bankruptcy describes the variety of serious ways which were utilized to the poem some time past, and issues in the direction of instructions for destiny research.

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See further below, pp. 86–7. At lines 771a (wundor), 840b (wundor), 920a (searowundor), 931a (twice: ‘wunder æfter wundre’), 995b (wundorsiona), 1162a (wunderfatum), 1365b (niðwundor), 1440a (wundorlic), 1452b (wundrum), 1509b (wundra), 1607b (wundra), 1681a (wundorsmiþa), 1724b (wundor), 1747a (wunderbebodum), 2173a (wundurmaðdum), 2687a (wundrum [manuscript wundum]), 2759a (wundur), 2768b (hondwundra), 3032b (wundur), 3062b (wundur), and 3103a (wundur). One notes in passing the consistent spelling in -wund[u]r- of the B-scribe (after line 1939b), by contrast with the A-scribe.

65; Boyle, ‘The Nowell Codex and the Poem Beowulf’, p. 24. , Three Old English Prose Texts, pp. 68–76. See too Orchard, Pride and Prodigies, pp. 12–14; Pickles, ‘Studies in the Prose Texts of the Beowulf Manuscript’, pp. 15–33. , Three Old English Prose Texts, pp. , An Eleventh-Century Anglo-Saxon Illustrated Miscellany; Orchard, Pride and Prodigies, pp. 175–203. See too Andy Orchard, ‘Marvels of the East’, BEASE, p. 304. Rypins, ed. Three Old English Prose Texts, pp. 1–50; Orchard, Pride and Prodigies, pp.

132–3, 205–6, and 222–3 (nos. 87, 161, and 175); Gneuss, Handlist, nos. 180, 338, and 353. I am grateful to David Dumville for pointing me towards these manuscripts. 31 This observation becomes particularly pointed when one realises that Ker only dates a dozen manu- 32 33 34 35 36 37 scripts (including the three listed here, the Beowulf-manuscript, and that containing the Blickling Homilies) with the notation ‘s. X/XI’: Ker, Catalogue, nos. 15, 87, 161, 175, 184, 216, 220, 231, 240, 334, 364, and 382; Gneuss, Handlist, nos.

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