J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT, in his famous 1936 lecture, BEOWULF: THE MONSTERS AND THE CRITICS, said, ""BEOWULF is among my most valued sources. It is a work of genius, rare and surprising in the period, and it is worth studying. In BEOWULF we have an historical story about the pagan past. BEOWULF is not an actual picture of historic Denmark or Geatland or Sweden about A.D. 500. But it is, on a general view, a self-consistent picture, a construction bearing clearly the marks of design and thought.
BEOWULF is, indeed, the most successful Old English heroic elegy.""
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