Beowulf is fantastic! I started it once and couldn’t get into it, but then I read it for an English class when I was 13-14, and it was fantastic! This is a book where you want to find a friend or a class to read it with, or you won’t enjoy it as much.
Beowulf is about a badass warrior who comes to a kingdom to kill their monster. No one has succeeded in this task, but Beowulf with the strength of fifteen men in one hand, smites the monster. The monster’s mom is very angry about this, so Beowulf kills her, too. Eventually, Beowulf becomes king,and when he’s 80+ years old, he takes a little kid with him to go smite a dragon. He kills the dragon, but dies because of it. He only dies because he’s 80+ years old fighting a dragon.
Beowulf was written by at least two authors; one pagan author and one Christian author. It’s often pretty evident where one ends and one begins. Try it out for yourselves!
It is interesting to read Beowulf alongside Gawain and the Green Knight, to contrast the themes of masculinity between them. Arguably, Beowulf is closer to what we think of as manly; he’s super strong and heroic, but really that means fighting dragons and monsters. Not much else. Gawain, on the other hand, may dress in satin and silk with birds and flowers embroidered all over him, but he is more selfless and protective of those around him. (I could say more, but I’ll save that for my Gawain the Green Knight review.)
Rated 10/10, would read again.