We cannot be certain when the Anglo

We cannot be certain when the Anglo -...

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We cannot be certain when the Anglo-Saxon poem  Beowulf  was composed, how it was created, or  exactly when it was written down. What we can do is pay attention to top scholars in the field and  make some pretty good guesses. The only surviving manuscript of  Beowulf  is written in Old English (Anglo-Saxon). Rather than being  composed at a specific time, the poem probably developed out of various influences, especially folk  tales and traditions. Parts of it may have originally been performed by court poets or traveling bards  ( scops,  pronounced "shops," in the Anglo-Saxon) who would have sung or chanted their poems to  the accompaniment of a musical instrument such as a harp. We can conclude, then, that the work  grew out of popular art forms, that various influences worked together, and that the story may have  changed as it developed. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, an American scholar named Milman Parry revolutionized the 
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

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