Beowulf is an important Anglo-Saxon epic.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a prominent Beowulf scholar; his Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics was a turning point in the modern study of the poem, moving the focus from its historical to its literary significance. Tolkien also left two substantial unpublished manuscripts concerning Beowulf. The first, a more substantial version of the previously mentioned critical essay, was edited by Michael Drout and published as Beowulf and the Critics. The second is a partial poetic and full prose translation of the epic, including commentary. The latter was a minor media sensation on its 'discovery' in 2003 and was also to be prepared for publication by Drout, but as of 2010 this was not forthcoming.
Tolkien looked highly upon Beowulf, and it both indirectly and directly influenced his own imaginative work. The episode in The Hobbit where Bilbo steals a cup from Smaug's horde, for example, is a conscious homage to a similar theft in Beowulf.
- ↑ Heaney, Seamus (2000). Beowulf, "Introduction". New York: W.W. Norton. pp. ix–xxx.
- ↑ Michael Drout. Beowulf and the Critics.
- ↑ Beowulf: Translations by J. R. R. Tolkien. Updated 2003-01-05. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- ↑ Michael Drout. Wormtalk and Slugspeak: Beowulf Basics. Updated 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 25, (dated February 1938).