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Apologies if this is too subjective of a question.

I'm currently studying Beowulf. I've seen it referred to as one of the, if not the first, most influential works of Anglo-Saxon literature. Some ventured so far as to refer to it as one of the most influential works in the history of the English language.

What qualities of Beowulf make it so important?

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closed as off-topic by Kris, Mari-Lou A, Janus Bahs Jacquet, James McLeod, Brian Hooper Sep 11 '13 at 12:29

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Firstly this is Primarily Opinion based. And secondly it is about literature, rather than English Language and Usage. Neither are on-topic on ELU. –  Matt Sep 11 '13 at 5:39
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about ELU. –  Kris Sep 11 '13 at 6:12
    
This sounds like someone wants to crowd-source their homework assignment –  THEAO Sep 11 '13 at 7:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It certainly has literary qualities, but its importance in terms of language is that it is the earliest substantial surviving poem written in English.

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This would be my answer; it's one of the most important English works because it's one of the oldest works identifiable as English (and not proto-Germanic, Proto-Indo-European, etc) –  KeithS Sep 11 '13 at 20:00

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