A Companion to Beowulf by Ruth A. Johnston PDF

By Ruth A. Johnston

ISBN-10: 031333224X

ISBN-13: 9780313332241

Perhaps an important paintings written in previous English, Beowulf grew out of a tradition very diversified from ours, and but its tale of conflict, violence, and heroism is still proper to fashionable readers. obtainable to highschool scholars, common readers, and undergraduates, this better half overviews the poem and its legacy. The preliminary chapters overview the plot of Beowulf , whereas later chapters speak about its kind and language, its cultural and historic contexts, and its afterlife in modern renowned culture.

The first a part of the ebook presents details of curiosity to quite a lot of readers, whereas the second one covers extra really good issues. hence the preliminary chapters evaluate the advantages of alternative translations and provide an in depth plot precis, whereas later chapters talk about the poem's language and magnificence, 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 ebook offers specified consciousness to his use of the poem in his personal fiction. highschool scholars, undergraduates, and common readers will locate this booklet a necessary advisor to 1 of the main hard but enduring works of English literature.

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Extra info for A Companion to Beowulf

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These recited poems may have been updated through the years, gradually shifted into more "modern" forms of Old English, and finally written down and copied over. Since a historical Beowulf would have lived around the time that the Anglo-Saxons were migrating, the time needed to recall and preserve this memory before the advent of writing would only have been about 150 years, not a long time by folklore standards. Another possibility is that the stories of Beowulf existed in some legendary form, but not in the verse forms we have.

Archeology continued to uncover new finds that shed light on the material culture of Beowulf's world, but scholarly efforts with the poem turned more to its meaning as literature. H o w do the characters interact? What is the meaning of a certain incident? H o w is imagery used? The traditional tools of literary study—theme, character, language, imagery—were turned toward Beowulf with good effect. It is now possible to read many detailed studies of how the poem fits into the tradition of the time, and how its ideas link it to our time.

Riding up, he shakes his spear and challenges them. He admits that he does not understand their purpose, coming openly under arms with one among them who is clearly a great lord. Are they spies of some sort? He cannot let them go without finding out. He wants to know their names, but more importantly, he wants to know their lineage, the names of their families. Line 259 shows us a common Old English expression, one that seems stiff and strange to our ears. " Speech, in this expression, is compared to a man who unlocks a treasure chest and begins to distribute the riches.

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A Companion to Beowulf by Ruth A. Johnston

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