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Beowulf

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okamido View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Beowulf
    Posted: 28 May 2012 at 12:34
With many now accepting that both Hrothgar and Hygelac were in fact historical personages, is it possible that Beowulf himself was a real warrior, noble, or hero of battle in the land of the Geats? Some believe he may be the hero Boovar Bjarki and the larger than average burial mound located at Skalunda in Sweden has recently been offered as the burial place of the supposed hero. Many homesteads in the area also bare names from the Geatish language which lends credence to Geats once occupying this particular stretch and burying someone of high significance.

Where the epic confrontations between this hero and Grendel/ Grendel's mother, as well as the dragon simply allegorically written by priests to show the pagan being defeated by the rise of Christianity? And if that is the case, Beowulf/ Boovar was simply borrowed due to oral tradition of his real life battles?
The burial mound at Skalunda:

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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2012 at 23:59
As normal in such tales the phrase "was X a historical personage?" is effectively meaningless. Quite obviously taken literally the answer is certainly 'no'.  Nobody killed Grendel. There never was a Grandel. It is  an intrinsic part of the definition of Beowulf that he killed Grendel: hence no Beowulf just as no Gilgamesh and no King Arthur.And for that matter no immortal Count Dracula.

If the question is not taken literally - i.e. to mean only was there a historical personage similar to Beowulf - then the answer is milllions of them to some extent. How similar do you have to be to count as 'similar'?


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Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 03:59
Exactly gcle - there was not one - but a large number of Beowulfs - and someone took the trouble to collect the main core  of the story that was passed down through a horde of generations mouth to mouth and left a unique poem for us when writing became a possibility.
Interesting enough, it happened in an era where worshipping a number of Gods, Odin, Thor, Loke, Baldur, Freya, Frei, and so on was predominant. The interesting part is that Beowulf clearly is a hero, but neither of those Gods were heroes - or at least they all had features close to humans with a number of  the same imperfections we know fromm humans  ...
 
As a sidenote and being a Norseman myself, I find it interesting that people who believes in the Norse Gods, who were very human, are laughed at
One thew other hand, it's perfectly natural to belive in a guiy who could cure all sickness, wake up the dead, walk on water, fly to heaven and come back....
The multitude and wonders of life is wonderful...  
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2012 at 07:01
Well, I must respectfully disagree: I AM BEOWULF!

-Ako...BEOWULF!
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pinguin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2012 at 14:21
Beowulf real? I am afraid no more than King Arthur. I mean these are characters, probable based on read people, but whose legends grew so huge that today is almost impossible to know who were the real guys.
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