Beowulf Video Enhanced Edition The classic literary tale "Beowulf" comes to life in this Video Enhanced Edition from Providence eLearning. William Lasseter provides narration and commentary throughout the text in 25 video lectures. The interactive textbook also contains a linked glossary of names and review questions.
The poem emerges from Anglo-Saxon oral tradition, composed by an Anonymous scop, or bard, in the 7th century and written down sometime around the 10th century. The 10th century scribes (for there were two) from whose hands we have received the MS fell into not a few errors of ignorance, arising apparently from their imperfectly understanding what they were writing. The writing of the two scribes differs considerably, the rough but firm and compact hand of the second contrasting sharply with the neater and more delicate hand of the first. Both scribes show that they did not always understand what they wrote.
This codex has on the average twenty lines to the page, the width of the page being about 4 inches. The original poem is divided into 43 chapters indicated by Roman figures, the first starting with line 53 of the poem. The language of Beowulf is pure literary Anglo-Saxon. It is not the speech of Northumbria or of East Anglia, but of Wessex ― that is, of the South and West of England. The language of the poem is throughout good literary West-Saxon.
The story, which takes place entirely in Denmark and Sweden, tells the noble tale of a hero facing death with courage. The antiquary Humphrey Wanley designates Beowulf as Tractatus nobilissimus, poetice scriptus, “A treatise most nobly and poetically rendered.” is the oldest example of Old English (OE) available to us and still stands as a monumental triumph of literary and artistic value.