Well, what do you think “Hwaet means in the first line of Beowulf? Maybe not what you think! Getting that first word right could change the connection between storyteller and audience. Not so far fetched.
Dr. George Walkden, a historical linguist, says that the meaning of Beowulf’s first sentence is misunderstood because translators of Beowulf have relied on a faulty interpretation of its first word.
Beowulf’s first line: “Listen! we have heard of the might of the kings” should in fact, says Dr Walkden, be read as “How we have heard of the might of the kings.”
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