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Beowulf and the Celtic Tradition

Martin Puhvel


$8.00 Hardcover, 151 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-063-0

Release Date: April 1980

Hardcover edition is out of print.  

Order online and receive a 25% discount

$32.95 Paper, 151 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-122-4

Release Date: June 1981



Puhvel traces and evaluates the possible influences of Celtic tradition on the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf. He discusses theories of the origins of the poem, draws parallels between elements in Beowulf and in Celtic literary tradition, and suggests that the central plot of the poem, the conflict between Grendel and his mother, is “fundamentally indebted to Celtic folktale elements.” The study is well documented and rich in references to Celtic literature, legend, and folklore.

Martin Puhvel is a professor emeritus of English at McGill University. He is the author of a number of books on Old and Middle English literature, including Cause and Effect in Beowulf: Motivation and Driving Forces behind Words and Deeds (2005), and numerous journal articles.

Beowulf and the Celtic Tradition

Related interest

Literary criticism