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Why read ancient texts such as Beowulf?
Studying Beowulf is important and beneficial for many reasons.

1) As one of the earliest known works in English (Old English specifically, but presumably you would study a Modern English translation), Beowulf gives students an idea of the starting point from which later English literature develops.

2) Beowulf provides valuable insight into the culture and values of the society in which it was composed and retold, a society that probably seems pretty foreign to a modern reader at first. Of course, modern Anglo-American culture is influenced by the culture of the ancient Anglo-Saxon people, and reading Beowulf helps readers to discover those influences.

3) It is a good intro to basic poetic concepts like epic/heroic poetry, enjambment, alliteration, accentual verse, metaphor, imagery.

4) It is interesting to discover how the poem treats and develops universal ideas (ideas that are of interest and concern to humans regardless of time and place). Some of these include heroes and heroism, the good life, virtue, honor, glory, sacrifice, good/bad kings.

5) Reading Beowulf will help you appreciate and understand Tolkien's work, which draws heavily on Old English lit and culture.