This volume retells the wonderful story of Beowulf, hero of the great Anglo-Saxon saga, in the manner of a folktale, so it has great appeal to children of all ages. It tells the story of how Beowulf, the hero of the Saxons, came to Daneland when in was ravaged by a terrible Ogre named Grendel. Against all odds, Beowulf opposes the hideous monster and kills it with his bare hands, and is later called upon to kill its vindictive mother, the waterwitch. The saga closes with the story of how the fire dragon warred with the Goth folk and how Beowulf fought his last fight.
Stories of Beowulf Told to the Children by H. E. Marshall
Ancient Saxon Epic Retold for Children
Beowulf is an epic poem that is thought to be one of the oldest stories written in the English language. It is a classic of Anglo-Saxon literature and has long been favorite of English scholars because of its historical insights into Saxon language and culture.
Aside from its scholarly interest, however, Beowulf is a wonderful hero story with terrific appeal to grammar school aged students. It is a thrilling folktale with plenty of swagger, danger, and heroism, delightful to any adventure-loving child.
The villain Grendel was a terrible ogre who massacred the brave thanes of Daneland without mercy. The Dane king Hothgar was powerless against the enchanted giant, who could not be killed with the swords and spears of his men. For twelve years Grendel wreaked havoc upon Daneland until the Goth king Beowulf heard of his troubles and came to do battle with the giant.
Instead of relying on swords and spears, Beowulf used his super-human strength to hold fast to Grendel’s arm until the writhing monster’s limb was ripped from its socket. But no sooner had Beowulf laid the ogre to rest then his enraged mother emerged from her under-water cave to wreak vengeance. In order to kill her, Beowulf had to swim to the bottom of the swamp in which she dwelt and overcome her in an underwater cave. Again the hero was victorious, and finally peace came to Daneland.
Beowulf is altogether a terrific adventure story, well able to hold the attention of action-loving students. The original ballad had Christian themes and although they are not explicit in the Children’s version, the story extols courage and self-sacrifice and is uplifting rather than pagan in spirit.
The Story of Beowulf Told to the Children is one of the wonderful stories retold in the Told to the Children series. The book is included in the both Young Readers and British Middle Ages curriculum CDs, or the e-book version be can be downloaded immediately for $1.99.