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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines heroic poetry in medieval England, focusing on Widsith, Deor, Waldere, The Finnsburh Fragment, and Beowulf. It explains that these poems take as their subject figures, historical or imagined, from the time of the Germanic migrations or heroic age: that period from the fourth to sixth centuries characterized by the movement of various peoples into areas which were previously under Roman control. It describes how these poems depicted heroic-age figures and events and shows how poets from different times and places, working within different literary traditions, make significantly different choices in presenting the same basic material.

Keywords: heroic poetry, medieval England, Widsith, Deor, Waldere, The Finnsburh Fragment, Beowulf, heroic age, literary traditions, Germanic migrations

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