The dating of beowulf chase
Boyle also suggests that the fitts may have recieved their numbering for the first time on this manuscript.
Kiernan takes this suggestion as further proof of the authorship being contemporary with the manuscript.
Does the poem provide us with an accurate if idealized view of early Germanic Culture?
Or is it rather a creature of nostalgia and imagination, born of the desire of a later age to create for itself a glorious past?
Scholars have presumed to study the poem as if it were Classical, and find much difficulty in the non-continuous narrative and the unfamilliar form.
Specifically, the conformity of the metre of Beowulf to 'Kaluza's Law' (governing the resolution of syllables into a single position) would be unexpected if the poem had been composed after 825 AD. 'Artful Avoidance of the Useful Phrase in Beowulf, The Battle of Maldon, and Fates of the Apostles'. [reprinted in Interpretations of Beowulf: a critical anthology.
Instead, he is looking for the gaps in the text that indicate to him that it had been constantly rewritten to suit the culture of that time.
In effect, there may have been so many authors spanned the six centuries that the authorship remains in question; the rewriting of he suggests that a single author had combined two folk stories with some historical events as a backdrop and some Christian doctrine to create a new form of heroic epic, or as Tolkien suggests, an "heroic-elegaic" poem.
Kiernan concludes that this is a result of two scribes trying to integrate two previously unrelated texts together.
Leonard Boyle's article section of the Nowell Codex was some 36 lines of text unsynchronized with the manuscript they were copying; thus the discrepancies attempt to fix the foliation in terms of the whole codex.