A Companion to Beowulf by Ruth A. Johnston

By Ruth A. Johnston

Perhaps an important paintings written in previous English, Beowulf grew out of a tradition very diverse from ours, and but its tale of struggle, violence, and heroism continues to be correct to trendy readers. available to school scholars, common readers, and undergraduates, this spouse overviews the poem and its legacy. The preliminary chapters overview the plot of Beowulf , whereas later chapters talk about its type and language, its cultural and historic contexts, and its afterlife in modern well known culture.

The first a part of the publication offers details of curiosity to a variety of readers, whereas the second one covers extra really expert issues. therefore the preliminary chapters assessment the advantages of other translations and provide an in depth plot precis, whereas later chapters speak about the poem's language and elegance, its therapy of faith, its relation to Anglo-Saxon tradition, and its legacy in pop culture. one of many maximum Beowulf students was once J.R.R. Tolkien, and the booklet offers precise consciousness to his use of the poem in his personal fiction. highschool scholars, undergraduates, and common readers will locate this booklet a priceless advisor to at least one of the main not easy but enduring works of English literature.

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W e know, then, that kings were often buried 26 ANION TO BEOWULF this way at the time of the story's action. However, we know that the pagan Germanic tribes also used cremation, as they believed that fire instantly released the soul to heaven (and kept ghosts from coming back). In 921, the Arab Ibn Fadlan wrote an account of a ship burial among a people he called the Rus, who may have been either Slavic or North Germanic. In the burial he witnessed, the dead king was placed on his ship, but the ship was then burned with the corpse.

They carry shields (described as covered shields) and spears. Line 330 tells us that the spears were made of ash wood, and that the metal used in their gear was iron. ") T h e Arrival at H e o r o t The arrival at Heorot is when Wulfgar, the doorkeeper, is first introduced. This position seems to have been a ceremonial post, rather than a menial job. Wulfgar is not a bellhop; he does not offer to carry their luggage. He is there to screen entrants to the hall, and he probably receives a measure of deference from the community.

He was well respected as a Beowulf scholar, however, and in delivering the Gollancz lecture, he changed the course of all subsequent scholarship. Citing the consensus that the poem was memorable only as a historical document, he defended the poem as a piece of literature. Critics charged that the poem was poorly constructed and dealt with childish topics. Tolkien asserted, in defiance of this critical opinion, that the poem's construction was poorly understood. The structure was not intended to tell a biographical story, but to poise two halves of an adventure in a balance: youth and old age, success and failure, troll and dragon.

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