Beowulf’s Singers of Tales as Hyperlinks
Oral Tradition Volume 26, Number 2
The scenes of oral poetic performance that occur throughout Beowulf have received an array of critical responses. This essay builds upon recent work on the correlation between oral tradition and new media to argue that the depicted performances in Beowulf function similarly to hyperlinks in the way that they connect the main narrative of the poem to other traditional songs and tales. As a result of such scenes, Beowulf is structured much more like an open and ongoing performance event than a fixed or finished text.