Grendel: Boundaries of Flesh and Law

In Beowulf, Grendel presents itself as a figure of inescapable ambiguity and as an embodiment of paradox that causes consternation in the human community.

Eight Videos about Beowulf

A selection of some of the most interesting videos on the web that talk about the Old English poem Beowulf:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beowulf published today

Nearly 90 years after he first made the translation, J.R.R. Tolkien’s version of Beowulf arrives at bookstores around the world today.

Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf coming out this spring

In 1926, J.R.R. Tolkien, who would later go on to write The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, completed his own translation of the Old English poem Beowulf. Eighty-eight years later that work is going to be published for the first time

Burning Idols, Burning Bridges: Bede, Conversion and Beowulf

This article will re-examine some of the information in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, completed in AD 731, on the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity in the late sixth and seventh centuries.

Valentine’s Day Medieval Love: Books for that special someone

Love is in the air! Here are a few medieval books on the topic of love for your Valentine.

The Three Tellings of Beowulf’s Fight with Grendel’s Mother

Beowulf offers three descriptions of Beowulf’s fight with Grendel’s mother. The first is by the narrator (ll. 1492-1590), the second is by Beowulf to Hrothgar (ll. 1652-76), the third is by Beowulf to Hygelac (included in ll. 2131-51, within the longer speech from l. 2047).

Figures of Evil in Old English Poetry

One of the ways, according to the Church Fathers, in which those guilty of mortal sin manifested their spiritual corruption was in their perverted imitation of the good.

Beowulf in 100 Tweets

How Elaine Treharne took over 3000 lines of Beowulf and made it into 100 tweets.

Beowulf: a regime of enforcement

I approach the Beowulf text as a discourse valuable in the process of constituting early Germanic kingdoms, specifically, Denmark and those which would give name to England. I will talk about the possible relationship between the poem and events in Denmark, then suggest how similar connections may have obtained in early Britain.

The status of hwæt in Old English

What does hwæt actually mean?

Creating the Christian Anglo-Saxon and the Other in the Old English Judith and Beowulf

This thesis explores the thematic relationship between the Old English poem Judith and the Old English epic Beowulf. I focus on seven narrative similarities between the two texts that are used to distinguish between the heroes, Judith and Beowulf, and their enemies, Holofernes, Grendel, and Grendel’s mother.

The hero on the edge: Constructions of heroism in Beowulf in the context of ancient and medieval epic

Whatever else he may be, though — and he may be any or all of these things — Beowulf is a hero.

Wild woman and her sisters in medieval English literature

The subject of this work is the concept and figure of the Wild Woman. The primary focus will be on various forms this figure assumes in medieval English literature: Grendel’s mother—the second monster Beowulf faces—and Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, along with other figures.

Lost in translation: The queens of Beowulf

When Bēowulf first arrives to the Danish shore with his troop of armed warriors, he is of course challenged by Hrōðgār’s sentinel to state his purpose. This delicate situation could end in violence or in welcome depending on Bēowulf’s reaction.

Heroic Worlds: The Knight’s Tale and Beowulf

Epic and Christianity are not incompatible, but they are uneasy bedfellows.

What Seamus Heaney Did to Beowulf : An Essay on Translation and Transmutation of English Identity

Heaney’s Beowulf provides us with a great deal which other translations do not: a poetic fluency rendered in Modern English, a skilled understanding of linguistic choices, and most importantly, a consciousness of the translative act which negotiates fluidly between modern perspectives and Anglo Saxon artistry.

Beowulf Is Not God Cyning

By understanding the etymology of the Old English cyning, and by recognizing the poet’s use of Scyld as the model for a good king, we can see that each of the three uses of the phrase ‘Þæt wæs god cyning’ has a different meaning…

Human Monstrosity in Terminator II: Judgement Day, Beowulf and The Passion of St Christopher

The idea of a humanoid monster that can be reluctantly empathized with can be traced back to various source texts. For example, Grendel in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf is a bloodthirsty savage, however upon a close reading of the poem he appears more human.

Wonders and Wisdom: Anglo-Saxons and the East

What the Anglo-Saxons ‘knew’ about Moslems and Jews, and about Babylon and Egypt and India, depended upon Biblical exegesis, saints’ lives, and other texts derived from Latin sources. Numerous Old English texts, as well as Latin versions that circulated and were copied in Anglo-Saxon England, concern Asia; these are quite varied in genre and in content.

A Feminist Critique of Beowulf: Women as Peace-Weavers and Goaders in Beowulf’s Courts

This thesis will examine the fundamental roles of women in the societies described in Beowulf, paying specific attention to the function as peace-weavers and goaders.

Heorot and the Plundered Hoard: A Study of Beowulf

Time and again the Beowulf poet’s choice of words and details reveals that he practised his craft within a tradition in which his creativeness was bound and disciplined by the objectiveness of a particular structure of images. We perceive in all the rich variety of his work the unifying effect of the typological imagination. It is in the typological mode of Beowulf that the key to its meaning and artistry is to be found.

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