In the opening of Beowulf the author describes Scyld Scefing – and his time as a ruler. The
opening paragraph ends with the evocative “þæt wæs gód cyning!” – “That was a good king!”
Using the OED – look up the word “cyning” and, in a short essay, try to examine what meanings
of the word does the author wish to evoke in the text. What sort of example does Scyld provide?
Try to look both to the text and to the discussion in class on the authorship and history of the