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In Old English, the poet begins with the word, "hwæt" which has been translated variously to mean "lo," "hark," or even "so." Why would the poet wish to start the poem in this manner?
To elevate a humble poem.
To draw attention from the other distractors of the mead hall.
To start "in medias res"
To follow the traditional opening set by other Old English poems
To set the poem apart from other typical epics.