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Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf

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Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Jul 2019, 05:02
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 183, Date : 03-Jul-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf should be translated. Some have given us prose versions of what we believe to be a great poem. Is it any reflection on our honoured Kemble and Arnold to say that their translations fail to show a layman that Beowulf is justly called our first epic? Of those translators who have used verse, several have written from what would seem a mistaken point of view. Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along? Or, again, is it fitting that the rough martial music of Anglo-Saxon verse be interpreted to us in the smooth measures of modern blank verse? Do we hear what has been beautifully called “the clanging tread of a warrior in mail”?

The present work is a modest effort to reproduce approximately, in modern measures, the venerable epic, Beowulf. Approximately, I repeat; for a very close reproduction of Anglo-Saxon verse would, to a large extent, be prose and uninteresting to a modern ear. The Heyne-Socin text and glossary have been closely followed. Occasionally, a deviation has been made, but always for what seemed good and sufficient reason. The translator does not aim to be an editor. Once in a while, however, he has added a conjecture of his own to the emendations quoted from the criticisms of other students of the poem.

This work is addressed to two classes of readers. From both of these alike the translator begs sympathy and co-operation. The Anglo-Saxon scholar he hopes to please by adhering faithfully to the original. The student of English literature he aims to interest by giving him, in modern garb, the most ancient epic of our race. This is a bold and venturesome undertaking; and yet there must be some students of the Teutonic past willing to follow even a daring guide, if they may read in modern phrases of the sorrows of Hrothgar, of the prowess of Beowulf, and of the feelings that stirred the hearts of our forefathers in their primeval homes.
Question 1: From the information in the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Beowulf?

(A) Beowulf was originally written in prose form.
(B) A lot of scholars erroneously consider Beowulf an epic.
(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations.
(D) Beowulf, in its original form, does not appeal to most readers.
(E) Beowulf was a bold and venturesome work that appeals primarily to only daring readers.


Question 2: What is the primary purpose of the third paragraph in the passage?

(A) To request for reader’s sympathy and understanding
(B) To describe how the author plans to interest the students of English literature in his translation of Beowulf
(C) To explain how the author’s translation of Beowulf closely mimics the original work
(D) To justify why the author has desisted from following the original work very closely in his translation
(E) To describe how the author plans to capture the attention of two classes of readers in his translation of Beowulf


Question 3: According to the information in the second paragraph, why does the author choose to reproduce Beowulf ‘approximately’ and not ‘accurately’

(A) Because this would help the author capture the interest of the Anglo-Saxon scholars
(B) Because the author wanted to differentiate his work from those that had been completed earlier
(C) Because it would make Beowulf appear more as a prose than a poem
(D) Because a very accurate reproduction could turn out too boring for modern tastes
(E) Because he wanted to explain to even the layman why Beowulf is called our first epic


Question 4: How does the author intend to please the Anglo-Saxon scholar with his version of Beowulf?

(A) By making use of rough martial music in his translation
(B) By not deviating too much from the original work in his translation
(C) By not reducing the intensity of the grave solemn speeches present in the original work
(D) By following the original work approximately and not accurately
(E) By providing his own justifications for the criticism of the original work by some students


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Originally posted by dcummins on 30 Jun 2019, 14:55.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 04 Jul 2019, 05:02, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2019, 06:04
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2019, 23:07
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Please provide explaination to the ques also so that a person can know where he has done wrong or can know the reasoning behing the solution
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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2019, 03:01
1
1
Question 1: From the information in the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Beowulf?

(A) Beowulf was originally written in prose form (Not mentioned in the passage. Eliminate)
(B) A lot of scholars erroneously consider Beowulf an epic (The passage mentions info which is opposite)
(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations (these lines give this implicit meaning: Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?. Best choice)
(D) Beowulf, in its original form, does not appeal to most readers (Trap Ans. Passage says it does not appeal to modern readers. Eliminate)
(E) Beowulf was a bold and venturesome work that appeals primarily to only daring readers (Another trap Ans. Passage does not mention daring readers, it mentions its translation as daring work. See 3rd Para. Eliminate)

Question 2: What is the primary purpose of the third paragraph in the passage?

(A) To request for reader’s sympathy and understanding (nope, its the author of the passage who does so from the readers. Eliminate)
(B) To describe how the author plans to interest the students of English literature in his translation of Beowulf (Yes but there is more to it, there is another class of readers which are missing in this option. Eliminate)
(C) To explain how the author’s translation of Beowulf closely mimics the original work (There is no such explanation. Just a passing remark of how author intends to interest the anglo saxon scholars. It would be a broad generalization to say. Eliminate)
(D) To justify why the author has desisted from following the original work very closely in his translation (There is no justification of such sort presented. Eliminate)
(E) To describe how the author plans to capture the attention of two classes of readers in his translation of Beowulf (Yes indeed. First 3 lines of 3rd para mention the same and this theme is overall carried over to the rest of the para. Best choice)

Question 3: According to the information in the second paragraph, why does the author choose to reproduce Beowulf ‘approximately’ and not ‘accurately’

Clear answer from these lines: The present work is a modest effort to reproduce approximately, in modern measures, the venerable epic, Beowulf. Approximately, I repeat; for a very close reproduction of Anglo-Saxon verse would, to a large extent, be prose and uninteresting to a modern ear.

(A) Because this would help the author capture the interest of the Anglo-Saxon scholars (Eliminate)
(B) Because the author wanted to differentiate his work from those that had been completed earlier (Eliminate)
(C) Because it would make Beowulf appear more as a prose than a poem (Eliminate)
(D) Because a very accurate reproduction could turn out too boring for modern tastes (An easy translation of what is mentioned in the relevant lines. Best Choice)
(E) Because he wanted to explain to even the layman why Beowulf is called our first epic (Eliminate)

Question 4: How does the author intend to please the Anglo-Saxon scholar with his version of Beowulf?

Answer implicit in these lines: The Anglo-Saxon scholar he hopes to please by adhering faithfully to the original.

(A) By making use of rough martial music in his translation (Eliminate)
(B) By not deviating too much from the original work in his translation (Subtly says what is mentioned in para. Best choice)
(C) By not reducing the intensity of the grave solemn speeches present in the original work (Eliminate)
(D) By following the original work approximately and not accurately (Eliminate. Its a trap Ans as it is mentioned in 2nd para. The author says this to justify why the current work is not an accurate reproduction. However, For anglo saxon scholars the strategy is to stick to the original i.e. not deviate much from the original story. This answer choice is debatable but I eliminated it due to the reason mentioned)
(E) By providing his own justifications for the criticism of the original work by some students (Naah. Eliminate)

I took 12 minutes to do this one including reading the para. Is it too long a time for passage of such difficulty?
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New post 04 Jul 2019, 03:21
Only Question number 1 and 4 are harder 2, 3 are easy questions and 12 minutes is definitely a long time.

Good Luck

Bombsante wrote:
Question 1: From the information in the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Beowulf?

(A) Beowulf was originally written in prose form (Not mentioned in the passage. Eliminate)
(B) A lot of scholars erroneously consider Beowulf an epic (The passage mentions info which is opposite)
(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations (these lines give this implicit meaning: Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?. Best choice)
(D) Beowulf, in its original form, does not appeal to most readers (Trap Ans. Passage says it does not appeal to modern readers. Eliminate)
(E) Beowulf was a bold and venturesome work that appeals primarily to only daring readers (Another trap Ans. Passage does not mention daring readers, it mentions its translation as daring work. See 3rd Para. Eliminate)

Question 2: What is the primary purpose of the third paragraph in the passage?

(A) To request for reader’s sympathy and understanding (nope, its the author of the passage who does so from the readers. Eliminate)
(B) To describe how the author plans to interest the students of English literature in his translation of Beowulf (Yes but there is more to it, there is another class of readers which are missing in this option. Eliminate)
(C) To explain how the author’s translation of Beowulf closely mimics the original work (There is no such explanation. Just a passing remark of how author intends to interest the anglo saxon scholars. It would be a broad generalization to say. Eliminate)
(D) To justify why the author has desisted from following the original work very closely in his translation (There is no justification of such sort presented. Eliminate)
(E) To describe how the author plans to capture the attention of two classes of readers in his translation of Beowulf (Yes indeed. First 3 lines of 3rd para mention the same and this theme is overall carried over to the rest of the para. Best choice)

Question 3: According to the information in the second paragraph, why does the author choose to reproduce Beowulf ‘approximately’ and not ‘accurately’

Clear answer from these lines: The present work is a modest effort to reproduce approximately, in modern measures, the venerable epic, Beowulf. Approximately, I repeat; for a very close reproduction of Anglo-Saxon verse would, to a large extent, be prose and uninteresting to a modern ear.

(A) Because this would help the author capture the interest of the Anglo-Saxon scholars (Eliminate)
(B) Because the author wanted to differentiate his work from those that had been completed earlier (Eliminate)
(C) Because it would make Beowulf appear more as a prose than a poem (Eliminate)
(D) Because a very accurate reproduction could turn out too boring for modern tastes (An easy translation of what is mentioned in the relevant lines. Best Choice)
(E) Because he wanted to explain to even the layman why Beowulf is called our first epic (Eliminate)

Question 4: How does the author intend to please the Anglo-Saxon scholar with his version of Beowulf?

Answer implicit in these lines: The Anglo-Saxon scholar he hopes to please by adhering faithfully to the original.

(A) By making use of rough martial music in his translation (Eliminate)
(B) By not deviating too much from the original work in his translation (Subtly says what is mentioned in para. Best choice)
(C) By not reducing the intensity of the grave solemn speeches present in the original work (Eliminate)
(D) By following the original work approximately and not accurately (Eliminate. Its a trap Ans as it is mentioned in 2nd para. The author says this to justify why the current work is not an accurate reproduction. However, For anglo saxon scholars the strategy is to stick to the original i.e. not deviate much from the original story. This answer choice is debatable but I eliminated it due to the reason mentioned)
(E) By providing his own justifications for the criticism of the original work by some students (Naah. Eliminate)

I took 12 minutes to do this one including reading the para. Is it too long a time for passage of such difficulty?

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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2019, 03:34
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I'm happy to post the explanations if needed. Will edit this post if need be, but its better to get a few experts to reply first.
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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 02:47
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All correct in 8 mins 45 seconds, though was not sure about Q1.

Question 1: From the information in the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Beowulf?

(A) Beowulf was originally written in prose form. - incorrect,
Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf should be translated.Some have given us prose versions of what we believe to be a great poem.

(B) A lot of scholars erroneously consider Beowulf an epic. - incorrect,
Is it any reflection on our honoured Kemble and Arnold to say that their translations fail to show a layman that Beowulf is justly called our first epic?
The present work is a modest effort to reproduce approximately, in modern measures, the venerable epic, Beowulf.

(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations.

(D) Beowulf, in its original form, does not appeal to most readers. - incorrect, if we change most to modern, then this sentence might be valid
for a very close reproduction of Anglo-Saxon verse would, to a large extent, be prose and uninteresting to a modern ear.
(E) Beowulf was a bold and venturesome work that appeals primarily to only daring readers.- incorrect, this is what the author talks about the translation of Beowulf
The student of English literature he aims to interest by giving him, in modern garb, the most ancient epic of our race. This is a bold and venturesome undertaking;

"Of those translators who have used verse, several have written from what would seem a mistaken point of view. Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?"
Can we infer option C based on the above lines?


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , jennpt , other experts - please enlighten
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Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 22:51
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Skywalker18 wrote:
All correct in 8 mins 45 seconds, though was not sure about Q1.

Question 1: From the information in the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Beowulf?

(A) Beowulf was originally written in prose form. - incorrect,
Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf should be translated.Some have given us prose versions of what we believe to be a great poem.

(B) A lot of scholars erroneously consider Beowulf an epic. - incorrect,
Is it any reflection on our honoured Kemble and Arnold to say that their translations fail to show a layman that Beowulf is justly called our first epic?
The present work is a modest effort to reproduce approximately, in modern measures, the venerable epic, Beowulf.

(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations.

(D) Beowulf, in its original form, does not appeal to most readers. - incorrect, if we change most to modern, then this sentence might be valid
for a very close reproduction of Anglo-Saxon verse would, to a large extent, be prose and uninteresting to a modern ear.
(E) Beowulf was a bold and venturesome work that appeals primarily to only daring readers.- incorrect, this is what the author talks about the translation of Beowulf
The student of English literature he aims to interest by giving him, in modern garb, the most ancient epic of our race. This is a bold and venturesome undertaking;

"Of those translators who have used verse, several have written from what would seem a mistaken point of view. Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?"
Can we infer option C based on the above lines?


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , jennpt , other experts - please enlighten


Quote:
"Of those translators who have used verse, several have written from what would seem a mistaken point of view. Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?"
Can we infer option C based on the above lines?

Skywalker18 , yes.
This prose is in one of my wheelhouses, but I think that the prose is hard. Your time is very good.

First, you eliminated the other four answers accurately. Nice catch on the most/modern distinction.

Second, what option C says is the plain English version of this author's overwrought prose. You picked the correct lines.

Although he uses questions, in every line except the first the author is asserting that another translator made an error.
He lists each error, including the fact that poetic verse in the form of a ballad obscures the gravity of Beowulf's character and speeches.

I numbered lines in the original (see footnote) and in this very rough rewrite in plain English.
#3a deals with option (C).


• PLAIN ENGLISH translation of the first paragraph.
In translating Beowulf, many people have made mistakes:
1) [it's a poem, not prose]. Most scholars think that Beowulf is a poem, but some people have mistakenly translated it into regular prose

2) [Beowulf is an accessible story, not a highbrow philosophy book]. Kemble and Arnold's version is so hard to read that a layperson, who should understand her or his "origin" stories—the epics—can't understand and thus can't appreciate the epic quality of the story.

3) [Even the versions rendered as poems have errors] Even people who have translated Beowulf into a poem have written from "the wrong point of view": those translators chose types of poems whose structure cannot convey the serious, heavy, and warlike aspects of both the characters and the story.

(3a) [BALLADS do not suit the gravity and solemnity] of Beowulf and Hrothgar's characters and speeches.
Beowulf and Hrothgar sound ridiculous in "ballad measures." (4 line stanzas with a rhyme scheme ABAB or ABCB).
Ballads are light and airy. They "trip" along. They dance lightly.
Beowulf and Hrothgar, by contrast, gave grave and solemn speeches whose gravity and solemnity do not come through in these translations that are ballads.

(3b) [MODERN BLANK VERSE also ruins Beowulf.]
Modern blank verse is another kind of poem. It contains no rhyme but does use iambic pentameter (a kind of meter and syllable stress).
Modern blank verse is too smooth. We lose the sense of clash and clamor of epic warriors.

Yes. Option (C) is correct and can be inferred from the lines that you picked.

(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations.

[From your lines and my rough translation into plain English]: Some people have used ballads to translate Beowulf.
Ballads are poems written in 4-line stanzas with a sing-song rhyme pattern of ABAB or ABCB.
Ballads are balletic, with a light and airy quality.
Beowulf was not a light and airy guy. He gave "grave and solemn speeches."
Those who translated his speeches in ballad form diluted the gravity of Beowulf's speeches.

We don't need an expert's analysis for this question.

Skywalker18 is spot on. +1 :)


** FIRST PARAGRAPH (original)
1) Some have given us prose versions of what we believe to be a great poem.
2) Is it any reflection on our honoured Kemble and Arnold to say that their translations fail to show a layman that Beowulf is justly called our first epic?
3) Of those translators who have used verse, several have written from what would seem a mistaken point of view.
-- 3a) Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?
-- 3b) Or, again, is it fitting that the rough martial music of Anglo-Saxon verse be interpreted to us in the smooth measures of modern blank verse?
Do we hear what has been beautifully called “the clanging tread of a warrior in mail”?

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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2019, 04:56
SajjadAhmad wrote:
Only Question number 1 and 4 are harder 2, 3 are easy questions and 12 minutes is definitely a long time.

Good Luck

Bombsante wrote:
Question 1: From the information in the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Beowulf?

(A) Beowulf was originally written in prose form (Not mentioned in the passage. Eliminate)
(B) A lot of scholars erroneously consider Beowulf an epic (The passage mentions info which is opposite)
(C) Some translators have reduced the gravity of Beowulf ’s speeches in their translations (these lines give this implicit meaning: Is it proper, for instance, that the grave and solemn speeches of Beowulf and Hrothgar be put in ballad measures, tripping lightly and airily along?. Best choice)
(D) Beowulf, in its original form, does not appeal to most readers (Trap Ans. Passage says it does not appeal to modern readers. Eliminate)
(E) Beowulf was a bold and venturesome work that appeals primarily to only daring readers (Another trap Ans. Passage does not mention daring readers, it mentions its translation as daring work. See 3rd Para. Eliminate)

Question 2: What is the primary purpose of the third paragraph in the passage?

(A) To request for reader’s sympathy and understanding (nope, its the author of the passage who does so from the readers. Eliminate)
(B) To describe how the author plans to interest the students of English literature in his translation of Beowulf (Yes but there is more to it, there is another class of readers which are missing in this option. Eliminate)
(C) To explain how the author’s translation of Beowulf closely mimics the original work (There is no such explanation. Just a passing remark of how author intends to interest the anglo saxon scholars. It would be a broad generalization to say. Eliminate)
(D) To justify why the author has desisted from following the original work very closely in his translation (There is no justification of such sort presented. Eliminate)
(E) To describe how the author plans to capture the attention of two classes of readers in his translation of Beowulf (Yes indeed. First 3 lines of 3rd para mention the same and this theme is overall carried over to the rest of the para. Best choice)

Question 3: According to the information in the second paragraph, why does the author choose to reproduce Beowulf ‘approximately’ and not ‘accurately’

Clear answer from these lines: The present work is a modest effort to reproduce approximately, in modern measures, the venerable epic, Beowulf. Approximately, I repeat; for a very close reproduction of Anglo-Saxon verse would, to a large extent, be prose and uninteresting to a modern ear.

(A) Because this would help the author capture the interest of the Anglo-Saxon scholars (Eliminate)
(B) Because the author wanted to differentiate his work from those that had been completed earlier (Eliminate)
(C) Because it would make Beowulf appear more as a prose than a poem (Eliminate)
(D) Because a very accurate reproduction could turn out too boring for modern tastes (An easy translation of what is mentioned in the relevant lines. Best Choice)
(E) Because he wanted to explain to even the layman why Beowulf is called our first epic (Eliminate)

Question 4: How does the author intend to please the Anglo-Saxon scholar with his version of Beowulf?

Answer implicit in these lines: The Anglo-Saxon scholar he hopes to please by adhering faithfully to the original.

(A) By making use of rough martial music in his translation (Eliminate)
(B) By not deviating too much from the original work in his translation (Subtly says what is mentioned in para. Best choice)
(C) By not reducing the intensity of the grave solemn speeches present in the original work (Eliminate)
(D) By following the original work approximately and not accurately (Eliminate. Its a trap Ans as it is mentioned in 2nd para. The author says this to justify why the current work is not an accurate reproduction. However, For anglo saxon scholars the strategy is to stick to the original i.e. not deviate much from the original story. This answer choice is debatable but I eliminated it due to the reason mentioned)
(E) By providing his own justifications for the criticism of the original work by some students (Naah. Eliminate)

I took 12 minutes to do this one including reading the para. Is it too long a time for passage of such difficulty?


Hi, not sure I'm clear on this explanation to eliminate (A) for (E)...would it be too much if I asked you to try again? Thanks!
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Re: Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2019, 04:56

Perhaps every Anglo-Saxon scholar has his own theory as to how Beowulf

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