"I have seen friendships lost over this," said Michael Drout, professor of English at Wheaton College. "I have seen people raise their voices at conferences. I think the reason is there really is a right answer. But no one knows what it is."
"Beowulf" was written sometime between 515 AD and 1025 AD, said Drout. Some argue for earlier dates, for reasons such as language and references to ancient Germanic peoples, according to Drout.Others believe it was written later because of the date of the manuscript and the possible influence of Latin Christian literature.Either way, the poem describes events that took place in sixth century. So what difference does a few hundred years make?
"A lot of the things in the poem would mean very different things depending on the cultural context," said Drout.
For example, he said, "'Most eager for fame' (which is describing Beowulf in the poem), is that a good thing or a bad thing? If it's a late Christian poem, then probably 'most eager for fame' is a criticism. If it's an early warrior poem, then probably 'most eager for fame' is a good thing."
The bolded sentences are the three I refered to in this laugh-producing post