✪✪✪ Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf

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Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf



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He attacks the dragon with the help of his thegns or servants, but they do not succeed. Beowulf finally slays the dragon, but is mortally wounded in the struggle. He is cremated and a burial mound by the sea is erected in his honour. Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem begins in medias res or simply, "in the middle of things", a characteristic of the epics of antiquity. Although the poem begins with Beowulf's arrival, Grendel's attacks have been ongoing. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages is spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and deeds of valour.

The warriors form a brotherhood linked by loyalty to their lord. The poem begins and ends with funerals: at the beginning of the poem for Scyld Scefing [18] and at the end for Beowulf. The poem is tightly structured. Carrigan shows the symmetry of its design in a model of its major components, with for instance the account of the killing of Grendel matching that of the killing of the dragon, the glory of the Danes matching the accounts of the Danish and Geatish courts. Beowulf begins with the story of Hrothgar, who constructed the great hall, Heorot, for himself and his warriors. In it, he, his wife Wealhtheow , and his warriors spend their time singing and celebrating. Grendel, a troll -like monster said to be descended from the biblical Cain , is pained by the sounds of joy.

Hrothgar and his people, helpless against Grendel, abandon Heorot. Beowulf, a young warrior from Geatland, hears of Hrothgar's troubles and with his king's permission leaves his homeland to assist Hrothgar. Beowulf and his men spend the night in Heorot. Beowulf refuses to use any weapon because he holds himself to be Grendel's equal. This display would fuel Grendel's mother's anger in revenge. The next night, after celebrating Grendel's defeat, Hrothgar and his men sleep in Heorot. Grendel's mother, angry that her son has been killed, sets out to get revenge. Earlier, after the award of treasure, The Geat had been given another lodging"; his assistance would be absent in this battle.

Hrothgar, Beowulf, and their men track Grendel's mother to her lair under a lake. After stipulating a number of conditions to Hrothgar in case of his death including the taking in of his kinsmen and the inheritance by Unferth of Beowulf's estate , Beowulf jumps into the lake, and while harassed by water monsters gets to the bottom, where he finds a cavern. Grendel's mother pulls him in, and she and Beowulf engage in fierce combat. At first, Grendel's mother prevails, and Hrunting proves incapable of hurting her; she throws Beowulf to the ground and, sitting astride him, tries to kill him with a short sword, but Beowulf is saved by his armour.

Beowulf spots another sword, hanging on the wall and apparently made for giants, and cuts her head off with it. Travelling further into Grendel's mother's lair, Beowulf discovers Grendel's corpse and severs his head with the sword. Its blade melts because of the monster's "hot blood", leaving only the hilt. Beowulf swims back up to the edge of the lake where his men wait. Carrying the hilt of the sword and Grendel's head, he presents them to Hrothgar upon his return to Heorot. The events prompt a long reflection by the king, sometimes referred to as "Hrothgar's sermon", in which he urges Beowulf to be wary of pride and to reward his thegns. Beowulf returns home and eventually becomes king of his own people.

When the dragon sees that the cup has been stolen, it leaves its cave in a rage, burning everything in sight. Beowulf and his warriors come to fight the dragon, but Beowulf tells his men that he will fight the dragon alone and that they should wait on the barrow. Beowulf descends to do battle with the dragon, but finds himself outmatched. His men, upon seeing this and fearing for their lives, retreat into the woods. One of his men, Wiglaf, however, in great distress at Beowulf's plight, comes to his aid. The two slay the dragon, but Beowulf is mortally wounded. After Beowulf dies, Wiglaf remains by his side, grief-stricken.

When the rest of the men finally return, Wiglaf bitterly admonishes them, blaming their cowardice for Beowulf's death. Afterward, Beowulf is ritually burned on a great pyre in Geatland while his people wail and mourn him, fearing that without him, the Geats are defenceless against attacks from surrounding tribes. Afterwards, a barrow, visible from the sea, is built in his memory. The poem contains many apparent digressions from the main story. These were found troublesome by early Beowulf scholars such as Frederick Klaeber , who wrote that they "interrupt the story", [32] W. Lawrence , who stated that they "clog the action and distract attention from it", [32] and W.

Ker who found some "irrelevant The dating of Beowulf has attracted considerable scholarly attention; opinion differs as to whether it was first written in the 8th century, whether it was nearly contemporary with its 11th century manuscript, and whether a proto-version possibly a version of the Bear's Son Tale was orally transmitted before being transcribed in its present form. Tolkien believed that the poem retains too genuine a memory of Anglo-Saxon paganism to have been composed more than a few generations after the completion of the Christianisation of England around AD , [47] and Tolkien's conviction that the poem dates to the 8th century has been defended by scholars including Tom Shippey , Leonard Neidorf , Rafael J. Pascual, and Robert D.

The claim to an early 11th-century date depends in part on scholars who argue that, rather than the transcription of a tale from the oral tradition by an earlier literate monk, Beowulf reflects an original interpretation of an earlier version of the story by the manuscript's two scribes. On the other hand, some scholars argue that linguistic, palaeographical handwriting , metrical poetic structure , and onomastic naming considerations align to support a date of composition in the first half of the 8th century; [52] [53] [54] in particular, the poem's apparent observation of etymological vowel-length distinctions in unstressed syllables described by Kaluza's law has been thought to demonstrate a date of composition prior to the earlier ninth century.

Hutcheson, for instance, does not believe Kaluza's Law can be used to date the poem, while claiming that "the weight of all the evidence Fulk presents in his book [b] tells strongly in favour of an eighth-century date. From an analysis of creative genealogy and ethnicity, Craig R. Davis suggests a composition date in the AD s, when King Alfred of England had secured the submission of Guthrum , leader of a division of the Great Heathen Army of the Danes, and of Aethelred , ealdorman of Mercia.

In this thesis, the trend of appropriating Gothic royal ancestry, established in Francia during Charlemagne's reign, influenced the Anglian kingdoms of Britain to attribute to themselves a Geatish descent. The composition of Beowulf was the fruit of the later adaptation of this trend in Alfred's policy of asserting authority over the Angelcynn , in which Scyldic descent was attributed to the West-Saxon royal pedigree. This date of composition largely agrees with Lapidge's positing of a West-Saxon exemplar c. The location of the poem's composition is intensely disputed. In , F. Talbot Donaldson claims that it was probably composed during the first half of the eighth century, and that the writer was a native of what was then called West Mercia, located in the Western Midlands of England.

However, the late tenth-century manuscript "which alone preserves the poem" originated in the kingdom of the West Saxons — as it is more commonly known. Beowulf survived to modern times in a single manuscript, written in ink on parchment , later damaged by fire. The poem is known only from a single manuscript, estimated to date from around —, in which it appears with other works.

The Beowulf manuscript is known as the Nowell Codex, gaining its name from 16th-century scholar Laurence Nowell. XV" because it was one of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton 's holdings in the Cotton library in the middle of the 17th century. Many private antiquarians and book collectors, such as Sir Robert Cotton, used their own library classification systems. XV" translates as: the 15th book from the left on shelf A the top shelf of the bookcase with the bust of Roman Emperor Vitellius standing on top of it, in Cotton's collection. The earliest extant reference to the first foliation of the Nowell Codex was made sometime between and by Franciscus Junius the younger.

The ownership of the codex before Nowell remains a mystery. Smith's catalogue appeared in , and Wanley's in In the letter to Wanley, Hickes responds to an apparent charge against Smith, made by Wanley, that Smith had failed to mention the Beowulf script when cataloguing Cotton MS. Vitellius A. Hickes replies to Wanley "I can find nothing yet of Beowulph. The manuscript passed to Crown ownership in , on the death of its then owner, Sir John Cotton, who had inherited it from his grandfather, Robert Cotton.

It suffered damage in a fire at Ashburnham House in , in which around a quarter of the manuscripts bequeathed by Cotton were destroyed. Rebinding efforts, though saving the manuscript from much degeneration, have nonetheless covered up other letters of the poem, causing further loss. Kiernan, in preparing his electronic edition of the manuscript, used fibre-optic backlighting and ultraviolet lighting to reveal letters in the manuscript lost from binding, erasure, or ink blotting. The Beowulf manuscript was transcribed from an original by two scribes, one of whom wrote the prose at the beginning of the manuscript and the first lines, before breaking off in mid-sentence.

The first scribe made a point of carefully regularizing the spelling of the original document into the common West Saxon, removing any archaic or dialectical features. The second scribe, who wrote the remainder, with a difference in handwriting noticeable after line , seems to have written more vigorously and with less interest. As a result, the second scribe's script retains more archaic dialectic features, which allow modern scholars to ascribe the poem a cultural context.

In the way that it is currently bound, the Beowulf manuscript is followed by the Old English poem Judith. Judith was written by the same scribe that completed Beowulf , as evidenced by similar writing style. Wormholes found in the last leaves of the Beowulf manuscript that are absent in the Judith manuscript suggest that at one point Beowulf ended the volume. The rubbed appearance of some leaves suggests that the manuscript stood on a shelf unbound, as was the case with other Old English manuscripts.

The scholar Roy Liuzza notes that the practice of oral poetry is by its nature invisible to history as evidence is in writing. Comparison with other bodies of verse such as Homer's, coupled with ethnographic observation of early 20th century performers, has provided a vision of how an Anglo-Saxon singer-poet or scop may have practised. The resulting model is that performance was based on traditional stories and a repertoire of word formulae that fitted the traditional metre.

The scop moved through the scenes, such as putting on armour or crossing the sea, each one improvised at each telling with differing combinations of the stock phrases, while the basic story and style remained the same. The question of whether Beowulf was passed down through oral tradition prior to its present manuscript form has been the subject of much debate, and involves more than simply the issue of its composition.

Rather, given the implications of the theory of oral-formulaic composition and oral tradition, the question concerns how the poem is to be understood, and what sorts of interpretations are legitimate. Many editions of the Old English text of Beowulf have been published; this section lists the most influential. He made one himself, and had another done by a professional copyist who knew no Old English and was therefore in some ways more likely to make transcription errors, but in other ways more likely to copy exactly what he saw. Since that time, the manuscript has crumbled further, making these transcripts prized witnesses to the text. While the recovery of at least letters can be attributed to them, their accuracy has been called into question, [c] and the extent to which the manuscript was actually more readable in Thorkelin's time is uncertain.

In , Frederick Klaeber published his edition Beowulf and The Fight at Finnsburg ; [88] it became the "central source used by graduate students for the study of the poem and by scholars and teachers as the basis of their translations. The tightly interwoven structure of Old English poetry makes translating Beowulf a severe technical challenge. Andy Orchard, in A Critical Companion to Beowulf , lists 33 "representative" translations in his bibliography, [94] while the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies published Marijane Osborn 's annotated list of over translations and adaptations in By , the Beowulf's Afterlives Bibliographic Database listed some translations and other versions of the poem.

In , the historian Sharon Turner translated selected verses into modern English. Grundtvig reviewed Thorkelin's edition in and created the first complete verse translation in Danish in Wyatt published the ninth English translation. In , Francis Barton Gummere 's full translation in "English imitative metre" was published, [87] and was used as the text of Gareth Hinds's graphic novel based on Beowulf. In , John Porter published the first complete verse translation of the poem entirely accompanied by facing-page Old English. The US publication was commissioned by W. Many retellings of Beowulf for children appeared in the 20th century. In 2nd edition , Liuzza published his own version of Beowulf in a parallel text with the Old English, [] with his analysis of the poem's historical, oral, religious and linguistic contexts.

Fulk, of Indiana University , published a facing-page edition and translation of the entire Nowell Codex manuscript in Alexander , [] and Seamus Heaney. The book includes Tolkien's own retelling of the story of Beowulf in his tale Sellic Spell , but not his incomplete and unpublished verse translation. It relocates the action to a wealthy community in 20th century America and is told primarily from the point of view of Grendel's mother. Neither identified sources nor analogues for Beowulf can be definitively proven, but many conjectures have been made. These are important in helping historians understand the Beowulf manuscript, as possible source-texts or influences would suggest time-frames of composition, geographic boundaries within which it could be composed, or range both spatial and temporal of influence i.

The poem has been related to Scandinavian, Celtic, and international folkloric sources. Jorgensen, looking for a more concise frame of reference, coined a "two-troll tradition" that covers both Beowulf and Grettis saga : "a Norse ' ecotype ' in which a hero enters a cave and kills two giants, usually of different sexes"; [] this has emerged as a more attractive folk tale parallel, according to a assessment by Andersson. Cook , and others even earlier. No such correspondence could be perceived in the Bear's Son Tale or in the Grettis saga. Mark Scowcroft notes that the tearing off of the monster's arm without a weapon is found only in Beowulf and fifteen of the Irish variants of the tale; he identifies twelve parallels between the tale and Beowulf.

Attempts to find classical or Late Latin influence or analogue in Beowulf are almost exclusively linked with Homer 's Odyssey or Virgil 's Aeneid. In , Albert S. Cook suggested a Homeric connection due to equivalent formulas, metonymies , and analogous voyages. Work supported the Homeric influence, stating that encounter between Beowulf and Unferth was parallel to the encounter between Odysseus and Euryalus in Books 7—8 of the Odyssey, even to the point of both characters giving the hero the same gift of a sword upon being proven wrong in their initial assessment of the hero's prowess.

This theory of Homer's influence on Beowulf remained very prevalent in the s, but started to die out in the following decade when a handful of critics stated that the two works were merely "comparative literature", [] although Greek was known in late 7th century England: Bede states that Theodore of Tarsus , a Greek, was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in , and he taught Greek. Several English scholars and churchmen are described by Bede as being fluent in Greek due to being taught by him; Bede claims to be fluent in Greek himself. Frederick Klaeber , among others, argued for a connection between Beowulf and Virgil near the start of the 20th century, claiming that the very act of writing a secular epic in a Germanic world represents Virgilian influence.

Virgil was seen as the pinnacle of Latin literature, and Latin was the dominant literary language of England at the time, therefore making Virgilian influence highly likely. It cannot be denied that Biblical parallels occur in the text, whether seen as a pagan work with "Christian colouring" added by scribes or as a "Christian historical novel, with selected bits of paganism deliberately laid on as 'local colour'", as Margaret E.

Goldsmith did in "The Christian Theme of Beowulf ". However, it also uses many other linguistic forms; this leads some scholars to believe that it has endured a long and complicated transmission through all the main dialect areas. An Old English poem such as Beowulf is very different from modern poetry. Anglo-Saxon poets typically used alliterative verse , a form of verse in which the first half of the line the a-verse is linked to the second half the b-verse through similarity in initial sound.

This verse form maps stressed and unstressed syllables onto abstract entities known as metrical positions. The poet had a choice of formulae to assist in fulfilling the alliteration scheme. These were memorised phrases that conveyed a general and commonly-occurring meaning that fitted neatly into a half-line of the chanted poem. Examples are line 8's weox under wolcnum "waxed under welkin", i. Kennings are a significant technique in Beowulf. They are evocative poetic descriptions of everyday things, often created to fill the alliterative requirements of the metre. For example, a poet might call the sea the "swan's riding"; a king might be called a "ring-giver. The poem, too, makes extensive use of elided metaphors. The history of modern Beowulf criticism is often said to begin with Tolkien, [] author and Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford , who in his lecture to the British Academy criticised his contemporaries' excessive interest in its historical implications.

In historical terms, the poem's characters were Norse pagans the historical events of the poem took place before the Christianisation of Scandinavia , yet the poem was recorded by Christian Anglo-Saxons who had mostly converted from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism around the 7th century — both Anglo-Saxon paganism and Norse paganism share a common origin as both are forms of Germanic paganism. Beowulf thus depicts a Germanic warrior society , in which the relationship between the lord of the region and those who served under him was of paramount importance. In terms of the relationship between characters in Beowulf to God, one might recall the substantial amount of paganism that is present throughout the work.

Literary critics such as Fred C. Robinson argue that the Beowulf poet tries to send a message to readers during the Anglo-Saxon time period regarding the state of Christianity in their own time. Robinson argues that the intensified religious aspects of the Anglo-Saxon period inherently shape the way in which the poet alludes to paganism as presented in Beowulf. The poet calls on Anglo-Saxon readers to recognize the imperfect aspects of their supposed Christian lifestyles.

In other words, the poet is referencing their "Anglo-Saxon Heathenism. But one is ultimately left to feel sorry for both men as they are fully detached from supposed "Christian truth". Richard North argues that the Beowulf poet interpreted "Danish myths in Christian form" as the poem would have served as a form of entertainment for a Christian audience , and states: "As yet we are no closer to finding out why the first audience of Beowulf liked to hear stories about people routinely classified as damned. This question is pressing, given Other scholars disagree as to whether Beowulf is a Christian work set in a Germanic pagan context. The question suggests that the conversion from the Germanic pagan beliefs to Christian ones was a prolonged and gradual process over several centuries, and it remains unclear the ultimate nature of the poem's message in respect to religious belief at the time it was written.

Robert F. Yeager describes the basis for these questions: []. That the scribes of Cotton Vitellius A. XV were Christian [is] beyond doubt, and it is equally sure that Beowulf was composed in a Christianised England since conversion took place in the sixth and seventh centuries. The poem is set in pagan times, and none of the characters is demonstrably Christian. In fact, when we are told what anyone in the poem believes, we learn that they are pagans. Beowulf's own beliefs are not expressed explicitly. He offers eloquent prayers to a higher power, addressing himself to the "Father Almighty" or the "Wielder of All.

Or, did the poem's author intend to see Beowulf as a Christian Ur-hero, symbolically refulgent with Christian virtues? Ursula Schaefer's view is that the poem was created, and is interpretable, within both pagan and Christian horizons. Schaefer's concept of "vocality" offers neither a compromise nor a synthesis of the views which see the poem as on the one hand Germanic, pagan, and oral and on the other Latin-derived, Christian, and literate, but, as stated by Monika Otter: "a 'tertium quid', a modality that participates in both oral and literate culture yet also has a logic and aesthetic of its own. Stanley B. Greenfield has suggested that references to the human body throughout Beowulf emphasise the relative position of thanes to their lord.

He argues that the term "shoulder-companion" could refer to both a physical arm as well as a thane Aeschere who was very valuable to his lord Hrothgar. With Aeschere's death, Hrothgar turns to Beowulf as his new "arm. Daniel Podgorski has argued that the work is best understood as an examination of inter-generational vengeance-based conflict, or feuding. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Old English epic poem. This article is about the epic poem. For the character, see Beowulf hero. For other uses, see Beowulf disambiguation.

Further information: Grendel. Main article: The dragon Beowulf. Main article: Nowell Codex. Further information: Oral-formulaic composition. Kentish Mercian Northumbrian West Saxon. Anglo-Saxon England portal. Old English sources hinges on the hypothesis that Genesis A predates Beowulf. Cook pp. Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 15 December Beowulf dual-language ed. New York: Doubleday. ISBN Comparative Literature.

JSTOR OCLC Summer The Heroic Age 5. Didier Erudition. Archived from the original PDF on 23 January Retrieved 1 October Det svenska rikets uppkomst [ The Rise of the Swedish Realm ]. Gamla Uppsala, Svenska kulturminnen 59 in Swedish. October History Today. Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Retrieved 23 October The Norton Anthology of English Literature vol. New York: W. Anglo-Saxon England. South Africa: MU. Archived from the original PDF on 24 March Modern Language Notes. The Digressions in Beowulf. Basil Blackwell. Acta Neophilologica. ISSN The Road to Middle-Earth Third ed. S2CID The Singer of Tales, Volume 1.

Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Roots and Branches. Walking Tree Publishers. Journal of English and Germanic Philology. The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May Modern Philology. The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. In Oliver Elton ed. English Association Essays and Studies. Clarendon Press. Joseph British Library.

Analysis Of 'The Scarlet Letter'. Many editions of Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf Old English text of Beowulf Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf been Ordinary People Vs Hamlet this section lists the most influential. Down With The tell tale heart edgar allan poe Liberators! With Aeschere's death, Hrothgar turns to Beowulf as his new "arm. We value excellent academic writing and strive to provide outstanding Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf writing service each and Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf time you Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf an order. Beowulf begins as many epic tales do, by Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf the Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf. Examples are line 8's weox Essay On Grendel Vs Beowulf wolcnum "waxed under welkin", i.

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