With his last breath Beowulf names Wiglaf his successor, and ordains that his ashes shall be enshrined in a great mound, placed on a lofty cliff, so that it may be a mark for sailors far out at sea.
It is probable that down to the end of the 7th century, if not still later, the court poets of Northumbria and Mercia continued to celebrate the deeds of Beowulf and of many another hero of ancient days.
His story is told in one of the oldest songs of the Edda, the V OlundarkiOda and, with considerable variations, in the prose P13rekssaga (Thidrek's sage), while the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf and Deor's Lament contain allusions to it.
Richly rewarded by Hrothgar, Beowulf returns to his native land.
That Beowulf is concerned with the deeds of a foreign hero is less surprising than it seems at first sight.
When all but Beowulf are asleep, Grendel enters, the iron-barred doors having yielded in a moment to his hand.
In Beowulf the same story is told of Scyld, with the addition that when he died his body was placed in a ship, laden with rich treasure, which was sent out to sea unguided.
But the value to be assigned to Beowulf in this respect can be determined only by ascertaining its probable date, origin and manner of composition.
The starting-point of all Beowulf criticism is the fact (discovered by N.
There are other points of contact between Beowulf on the one hand and the Scandinavian records on the other, confirming the conclusion that the Old English poem contains much of the historical tradition of the Gautar, the Danes and the Swedes, in its purest accessible form.