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Audible RSS Feeds - Classics. Classics Audio Programs. Classics Audio Programs-Out of the mixture of Latin Germanic paganism and the Christianity of the Early Middle Ages sprung one of the worlds supremely great pieces of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of IThe Lord of the RingsI, delivered a famous lecture to the British Academy in 1936 in which he maintained that IBeowulfI was a poem all of a piece, not (as had been suggested) a jumble of fragments for pedantic scholars to paw over. The power beauty of IBeowulfI enchanted Tolkien so much that he borrowed freely of its imagery even of some of its plot when he forged his own epic of Middle Earth.p
This medieval masterpiece, written in pre-Norman England Saxon, lay forgotten for centuries, rediscovered printed for the first time early in the 19th century. It has been translated many times since, and the more people read IBeowulfI, the more they admire it. For good reason. In strikingly beautiful lines, it affirms the ideal of tenderness joined to strength, and of courage ennobled by virtue. It speaks resounding tones of valor, faith, and honor. Its a heroic tale of pagan Germanic origin, a saga of a vanishing age retold in the new light of the Christian era. Its author, most likely an educated monk from Northumbria, was certainly influenced by the work of Virgil. The old pagan legends of blood feuds monsters formed the dark background against which the Christian hero Beowulf would shine forth with deeds of courage virtue. Of all old Anglo-Saxon poems, IBeowulfI is the greatest.p
This version of IBeowulfI is organized in 17 parts. Within some sections, there are digressions which do not, strictly speaking, belong to the central plot. These sections, called lays, have been enhanced by an echo to help the listener detect them. An introduction by Henry Bradley precedes the poem.
brbrTo supplement the full text, listen to the SparkNotes Guide for Beowulfaa.

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