Attention: For textbook, access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
It is well known that the old English poem Beowulf begins and ends with funerals and includes the third as a digression part way through. Now, for the first time, a fourth funeral (hitherto disguised as poetic imagery) is identified from archaeological evidence. A detailed analysis of the four funerals establishes their thematic and structural importance, revealing them as pillars around which the poem is built. The poet is revealed as a literate antiquarian of considerable structural skill; one who explores feminist issues, plays with numbers and enjoys a pun; who establishes an ideal then probes its darker side.
The author's unique knowledge of Anglo-Saxon culture provides constant surprises and enlightenment. This book will be invaluable to all students of the poem for its fresh and detailed reading, its identification of a coherent structure and its establishment of the integrity of the surviving texts.