Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beowulf Criticism


Available now in the library is an internet research database called JSTOR. As noted on the website,

JSTOR is a not–for–profit organization dedicated to helping the scholarly community discover, use, and build upon a wide range of intellectual content in a trusted digital archive. Our overarching aims are to preserve a record of scholarship for posterity and to advance research and teaching in cost–effective ways. We operate a research platform that deploys information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. We collaborate with organizations that can help us achieve our objectives and maximize the benefits for the scholarly community.

The goal of JSTOR is to introduce students and scholars to the wide world of literary criticism.[see footnote below]

It is also ideal for modeling how to write works of literary criticism. To familiarize yourself with how to use the system, I would like each of you to search and print out one scholarly article pertaining to Beowulf and submit a one-paragraph “abstract”—a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.—on that article to the blog, being sure to indicate the title of the article as well as its author.

You can access JSTOR from the library or from home by clicking the link to the left. Each of you will have to register individually with an easy-to-remember personal username and password (record them in your journals so that you do not lose them).

DUE DATE: Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Please be sure to submit your article with the proper heading:

Your Name
My Name
ENG 141 / British Lit
Due Date

Article Title:
Article Author:

literary criticism
1. a written evaluation of a work of literature [syn:
2. the informed analysis and evaluation of literature


matthew said...

Matthew Clair
Brother Peach
Eng 141/ Brit Lit

The Great Feud: Scriptual History and Strife in Beowulf
by: Marijane Osborn

This article thoroughly explains the connections between the text of Beowulf, and that of scriptural history and Catholicism. This can especially be seen in the first half of the poem. There are a few examples of these connections, such as when Osborn was quoting another article that said: “having the scop in Heorot paraphrase Genesis, the placing of Grendel in the race of Cain, and Hrothgar’s sermon.” Osborn states that the mythic beginnings of Scyldings, of Heorot, and of Strife in Heorot evoke a serise of feuds strongly connected to sacred history. The second half of the poem is connected to Scandaninavin feuds, which are valid because the history of them was accessible in the time frame of the poem. However the Scriptural History would have been impossible to known by the protagonists at the time, because Christianity had not yet reached the region of the ancient Scandaninavians in Beowulf. By using two different yet complimentry frames of reference, the author of Beowulf created both a Heroic side and a Cosmic side of the epic.

bpipps06 said...
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bpipps06 said...

Brett Pippens
Bro. Peach
Eng 141/ Brit. Lit
October 7, 2008

Old English and Beowulf
by: Albert S. Cook

In this article, he stresses the importance of Old English language in classic material. This incorporation of language will not only add a spice to the diction, but allow the reader to be encased by the words. To feel as the author felt when they wrote the article. He then goes on and tells us how important rhyming sequence is in this type of writing because it will capture the audience’s attention. Also, he reiterates the point to “diversify” the language, which simply means to give some change in the text. Albert then goes on making it his prerogative to tell us to stay focused on the reading and that Beowulf wouldn’t be the same without these diverse techniques.

Dman said...

Devon Mancini
Brother Peach
Eng 141/Brit Lit

The Great Feud: Scriptural History and Strife in Beowulf
By: Marijane Osborn

Marijane Osborn shows that the history of Beowulf is mainly concerned with the Scandanavian feuds. Also, Christian and Scriptural history are evident in the poem, even though Christianity has not yet reached their land. This poem has 2 parts, nearly equal in length, both with different views. They both end with a statement about destiny after death. Osborn quotes an article,:"This life of man appears but for a moment; what follows or indeed what went before, we know not at all"(p.974). This gives the poem dramatic tension because they know not what to expect after death. We, as the audience, have a better understanding of the Christianity displayed in the poem. The Creation song sang in Heorot is a paraphrasing of Genesis, but the people in Beowulf do not know this because they do not know what Genesis is. By having knowledge about Christianity, we hear much more in the song than the Danes can. The element of evil is added to the herioc level of the poem. Osborn says that when Beowulf brings the hilt back to Hrothgar, that it represents the fall of devils; Grendel and his mother. In this poem, there are two different referneces; one heroic and one cosmic. Each one plays off the other, giving them more meaning and making this epic story one that would be told for many generations yet to come.

bp said...

Branford Phillips
Brother Peach
Eng 141/ Brit. Lit.

The Religious Principle in Beowulf
by Padgett Hamilton

The purpose of this article is to identify how the poet of Beowulf used religious principles and terms in the epic. Hamilton states that the poet's illumination of the past was nothing new, compared to the fusion of past and present. Because the poet was not disturbed by his pagan sources, he had no trouble using terms such as "wyrd". She then references Pro. Kleber who stated " the problem of finding a formula which staisfactorily explains the peculiar spiritual atmosphere of the poem". The second part of the article talks about the pagan Latin poets of the world, such as Augustine. Hamilton states that grace is although often refered to by many old english poets, is sometimes taken for granted.

Joe R. said...

Joe Rabel
Bro. Peach
Eng141/British Lit.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beowulf and the Varieties of Choice
Article written by Andrew Galloway

This article I found written by Andrew Galloway was written about the choices of a “hero”. He explains the concept of fate and how it pertains to Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon literature. Galloway explains how the choices that Beowulf make, makes him the hero and the leader. We see these choices when he goes to fight Grendel and the dragon. He stands up as a hero and a leader; he makes his fate which leads him to glory and eventually death.

Mr. President said...
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Mr. President said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.H.Farina said...

Joseph H. Farina
Brother Robert Peach FSC
Eng. 141 / British Lit.
October 7, 2008

Beowulf and the Varieties of Choice
By: Andrew Galloway

In my particular article, Andrew Galloway explains the ongoing presence of "choice" in Beowulf. Galloway shows that the Anglo-Saxon verb (ge)ceosan means 'to choose', this appears all throughout Beowulf. For example, after his fight with Grendel, Hrothgar treats Beowulf like a son. Beowulf can choose whichever lord he wants and can even lever himself into a position of future ruler of the Danes. But he chooses to return to Hygelac. Choice is a major theme in Beowulf. Galloway also brings to attention that it was Beowulf's choices that made him a great king. The most prevalent of examples is when he fights the Dragon. In doing this the certainty of death lingers in his mind. But for glory, he chooses his deathbed. According to Galloway it was Beowulf's choices that made him a hero.

vinnie said...

Vinnie Venturella
Bro. Robert peach
ENG 141 / British Lit

Article Title: “Beowulf and the Varieties of Choice”
Article Author: Andrew Galloway

The scholarly article pertaining to Beowulf that I found using JSTOR was written by Andrew Galloway. “Beowulf and the Varieties of Choice” is about how Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon scholars explore the concept of wyrd. Wyrd is another word for fate. It shows the relation to Christian predestination and as English poetry’s deterministic vision of history. In saying that it has a deterministic vision of history is stating that every human choice and decision has a sufficient cause. Beowulf makes many choices through out the novel. He choose to go and help fight Grendell. He decides to fight Grendell and choose to fight the dragon near the end on the novel. These choices lead up to his heroic death in the end of the novel. As a great warrior and a great leader of his people. Fate in both Christian predestination and deterministic vision by the English poets are basically the same belief. They both say that we all have a so-called “fate” established or looked over by a higher being, God. The difference is that in predestination it would have been known that Beowulf would choose to fight Grendell and others through his life. But, in a deterministic view of life, he would of choice this and altered his fate with every decision he choose to make and not make. Did he choose his “fate” of an honorable death? Or was he supposed to be a hero and did as God created him to do?

zach said...

Zachary Carlino
Brother Peach
Eng 141/Brit Lit

Beowulf and the Varieties of Choice
by:Andrew Galloway

Andrew Galloway explains that choice and fate are themes in Beowulf. The verb (ge) means choice. Choice is used a few times in Beowulf when Beowulf had to make a choice between two things and it made him a hero. We see that he becomes a hero when he chooses to fight the dragon. Beowulf knows this will lead to death, but he chooses to fight the dragon, this makes Beowulf a hero. This writing wa based on two themes that we as humans deal with in our lives, fate and choice. What fate will the choices that I make now in my life bring to me later in my life.

Anonymous said...

James McDonough
Brother Peach
Eng 141/ Brit Lit

Beowulf and Epic Tragedy
By: Stanley B. Greenfield

"Is there only one kind of tragic?" (page 92) This question is asked by Stanley B. Greenfield as a result of analyzing the qualities and characteristics of Beowulf in comparison to other forms of epics such as the Odyssey. Answer? No. He explores the differences between what he sees are epic tragedies and epic dramatic tragedies, using various points from the actual text and disparate quotes from scholars who have analyzed Beowulf and other classic epics. In his thesis, he explains that Beowulf is, in fact, a perfect example of differing epic tragedy with dramatic tragedy, and that these are not the only styles of epics that have manifested within scholarly articles, which have also analyzed the many characteristics of epics.

S Miclot said...

Sam Miclot
Bro. Robert Peach
Eng. 141/ Brit Lit
“Grendle’s Motive in Attacking Heorot”
by Oliver Farrar Emerson

The scholarly article written by Oliver Farrar Emerson entitled “Grendle’s Motive in Attacking Heorot” tries to disprove the false assumption that the epic Beowulf was written by heathens. Grendel is described as a flesh-eating, horrible, devilish fiend that envies man’s happiness. His envy for man causes his attacks, and makes him a lasting enemy of the Danes. The poet describes him almost the exact same way that the medieval Christian describes the descendants of Cain(Cain and Abel). As Emerson points out the poet describes Grendel as “a hellish fiend”. The poet tells of Grendel’s devilish envy of the Danes, who are Christian. Implying a hatred of Christianity and God,therefore also implying a belief in a God and an
“anti”-God . This also shows the poet’s belief in heaven and hell which are fundamental Christian beliefs. Grendel’s attack in the epic Beowulf is a great example of why it was written by a Christian rather than a heathen.

Adam Butler said...

Adam Butler
Bro. Peach
Eng 141/Brit Lit

The Christianity of "Beowulf"
By: William Whallon

In this article it is explained of how Christianity is related into the story Beowulf. The article states that Beowulf was "washed in the religious currents". The story of Beowulf includes nine chapters from Genesis, that is where it can be said that this story is tied in with Christianity. Father Klaebers found throughout the great epic many extensive lists of analogues from both Testaments.

iownyou01 said...

Shane Yuhas
Bro. Peach
Eng. 141/ Brit Lit
October 7, 2008

Rewriting Beowulf: The Task of Translation
By: John D. Niles

In this article, John D. Niles talks about the extensive use of " Old English " in the text. He talks about it being unique in a way that most stories read now are translated so that we, the people, can understand what the story is trying to tell us. Mr. Niles is also trying to state of how Old English can add flare and spice to the story rather than the normal, plain text that is mostly used in todays world. The problems readers run into when they read ' old style ' readings are that they have there own special nature, and he does not like the fact of translating it in a way for us to relate to it because he says it takes away from the poem, or story. John D. Niles relates the translation of the text to ' Bias' , in pool. Which means like a pitcher throwing a curve ball or putting spin on the ball. The same goes in Beowulf, the spin of translation throws the story off in a way. Therefore, we should not translate these special stories presented to us, but we should learn to take them as is and try to understand them. Take it on as a challenge, and challenge your own self. So what do you say ? I say we all need to keep it real, real Old .

Rob Peach said...

Jacob Sedlack
Bro. Peach
Eng 141/ British Literature

Article: ?
Author: ?

The expression of choice in Anglo-Saxon verse have particularly, complex origins, for they stem from poetry that is ultimately oral and heroic as well as directly based on textual and especially devotional models and sources. Here only a working generic distinction is offered. Heroic verse, if we confine this label to poems mainly about warriors and not centrally about Christianity, often asserts that a hero’s life is governed by fate, that which makes a man doomed - sometimes an implicitly Christian force, more often one that does not clearly lead to a Christian fate.

Beowulf and the variety of choice
Andrew Galloway
The explanation of decisions in Anglo-Saxon poetry has a particularly, complex beginning, because they stem from poetry that at the end of the day are oral and hero-worshiping as well directly based on text and very devoted models and sources. In this case, only a working generic difference is offered. In Heroic poetry, if you confine this label to poetry mostly about warriors and not necessarily about Christianity, often affirms that the hero’s fate is controlled by fate, which is what dooms him-sometimes an implicitly Christian force, which is often not a clearly Christian fate.

Mr. President said...

Brian Fuchs
Brother Peach
ENG 141/ Brit Lit

Title:Elements of Christianity and the Genesis of Beowulf
Author: Robert D. Stevick

In this criticism, Robert D. Stevick hypothesizes that the genesis of "Beowulf" may ultimately determine the characters and the outcome of the epic. The relation between the story telling method of the scop and the composer of the text, the dominant Christian presence and the historical "Germanic" orientation of the epic could all have changed the original song to the surviving manuscript of today. Stevick states that "modifications of a text"(80) reflect a shift in dialect and the language of the copyist. After much observation, Stevick suggests that, : the poem can be assumed to have been transmitted without a great deal of change".(80)The obvious changes can be seen through the clearly present Christian themes. The reference to Grendel's connection to Cain, Beowulf's acknowledgement of God's help in the victory over Grendel's mother, and Beowulf's strengths being attributed to the grace of God. Despite the various references to god, the epic has Germanic influence and never clearly states God as the reason Beowulf helps the Danes. In conclusion, the epic draws on many different influences and Christianity, Germanic history, and the language shift are simply attributes of a folk tale passed down from generation to generation. Beowulf was made into the present epic by a changing society and the various languages that arose.