Composed towards the end of the first millennium, the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf is one of the great Northern epics and a classic of European literature. In his new translation, Seamus Heaney has produced a work which is both true, line by line, to the original poem, and an expression, in its language and music, of something fundamental to his own creative gift. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed, in that exhausted aftermath. It is not hard to draw parallels between this story and the history of the twentieth century, nor can Heaney's Beowulf fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, telling us psychological and spiritual truths that are permanent and liberating.
Author: Seamus Heaney
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2001-02-17
New York Times bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Award. Composed toward the end of the first millennium, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface. Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in ?Beowulf? and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.
Author: John M Hill
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2009-10-14
Genre: Literary Criticism
One of the most consistent critiques levelled against Beowulf is that it lacks a steady narrative advance and that its numerous digressions tend to complicate if not halt the poem's movement. As those passages often look backward or far ahead in narrative time, they seem to transform the poem into a meditative pastiche. The Narrative Pulse of Beowulf counters this assertion, examining Beowulf as a social drama with a strong, forward-moving narrative momentum. John M. Hill discerns a distinctive 'narrative pulse' arising out of the poem's many scenes of arrival and departure. He argues that such scenes, far from being fixed or 'type' scenes, are socially dramatic and a key to understanding the structural density of the poem. Bolstering his analysis with a strong understanding of the epic, Hill looks at Beowulf in relation to other stories such as The Odyssey and The Iliad, epics that, though they may appear to have a certain narrative elasticity, use scenes of arrival and departure to create a cohesive social world in which stories unfold. As a new and comprehensive study of one of the most important Old English texts, The Narrative Pulse of Beowulf sheds new light on this famous poem and the epic tradition itself.
Author: Paul Fox
Publisher: ibidem-Verlag / ibidem Press
Release Date: 2014-05-01
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
This revised and expanded volume examines the intersections of aesthetics and morality and asks what Decadence means to art and society at various moments in British literature. As time passes, the definition of what it takes to be D/decadent changes. The decline from a higher standard, social malaise, aesthetic ennui – all these ideas presume certain facts about the past, the present, and the linear nature of time itself. To reject the past as a given, and to relish the subtleties of present nuance, is the beginning of Decadence. The conflict underlying the contributions to this collection is that of society's moral contempt vis-a-vis the focus on the fleeting present on part of the purportedly decadent artists; who in turn thought the truly decadent to be the stranglehold society maintained on individual interpretation and the interpretation of oneself.
World literature is often transposed onto screen and these new interpretations of literary works mostly change several features. This study investigates in a qualitative and quantitative analysis the changes which were made to the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf when it was transposed onto screen. After outlining the original poem and its most prominent topics and features (contents, structure, dating, religion, women and the myth of the hero), the same topics and features (plus others) are examined in the Beowulf films. Those are grouped in major, minor and marginal films and each group shows certain common features and tendencies. The major films with focus on contents and the most important characters constitute the central part of this survey. The study gives interesting results with regard to the changes of plot, characters, language and other features. It is, for instance, striking that several films concentrate on the first part of the story and omit the dragon fight completely, strengthen the role of women and consider heroism in a critical way.
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, Free University of Berlin (Institut für Englische Philologie), language: English, abstract: The problematic nature of defining what exactly Grendel’s mother is in "Beowulf" has left little doubt that she has been even further removed from humanness than her son. The problem seems to lie in the difference between modern conceptions of what distinguishes a ‘monster’ from a ‘human’ and the Anglo-Saxon understanding of these terms. A possible explanation for this could be that there has been relatively little exploration of this female figure as an entity independent of her son, and what interest there has been has tended to classify her as a mere-monster, or quite literally, a mere monster. Even in Edward Irving’s rereading of "Beowulf", although he prudently observes that “the feminist movement has given us the power to open our eyes” to the phenomenon of the lack of critical attention given to Grendel’s mother, he still cannot bring himself to view Grendel’s mother as anything other than a monster. In this essay I will attempt to turn the reader’s attention to this female character not as a monster, but as a warrior-woman, one who consciously violates the customs and rituals observed by peace-making women in Germanic society.
Author: Michael Fox
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Literary Criticism
It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the Bible in the medieval world. For the Anglo-Saxons, literary culture emerged from sustained and intensive biblical study. Further, at least to judge from the Old English texts which survive, the Old Testament was the primary influence, both in terms of content and modes of interpretation. Though the Old Testament was only partially translated into Old English, recent studies have shown how completely interconnected Anglo-Latin and Old English literary traditions are. Old English Literature and the Old Testament considers the importance of the Old Testament from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from comparative to intertextual and historical. Though the essays focus on individual works, authors, or trends, including the Interrogationes Sigewulfi, Genesis A, and Daniel, each ultimately speaks to the vernacular corpus as a whole, suggesting approaches and methodologies for further study.
Author: Peter Mackay
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2011-04-14
Genre: Literary Criticism
The comparative study of the literatures of Ireland and Scotland has emerged as a distinct and buoyant field in recent years. This collection of new essays offers the first sustained comparison of modern Irish and Scottish poetry, featuring close readings of texts within broad historical and political contextualisation. Playing on influences, crossovers, connections, disconnections and differences, the 'affinities' and 'opposites' traced in this book cross both Irish and Scottish poetry in many directions. Contributors include major scholars of the new 'archipelagic' approach, as well as leading Irish and Scottish poets providing important insights into current creative practice. Poets discussed include W. B. Yeats, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, Louis MacNeice, Edwin Morgan, Douglas Dunn, Seamus Heaney, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, Nuala ni Dhomhnaill, Don Paterson and Kathleen Jamie. This book is a major contribution to our understanding of poetry from these islands in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Author: Lynn E H Trainor
Publisher: World Scientific
Release Date: 2001-06-25
The purpose of this book is to bring to interested readers (professionals and laypersons alike) an appreciation and a basic understanding of what the genetic code is and why it has come to revolutionize thinking about living systems as a whole. The consequences of this revolution in molecular biology are so vast as to be almost incomprehensible. It seems important in a democratic society to have a citizenry well informed about the crucial issues of the day, such as genetic engineering and molecular medicine, which impact the social order and the ethos of society in such a profound way. This book discusses concisely the genetic code — what it is and how it provides the key to molecular biology. The structures of DNA (as revealed by Watson and Crick) and of the various forms of RNA are described in some detail, and it is shown how these structures are marvellously adapted to the twin problems of inheritance of traits and faithful development of individual organisms. In this latter respect, the role of proteins as the “molecules of life” is described and the central dogma of molecular biology (information flows from DNA to RNA to protein) elaborated. In addition, theories of the origin and development of the universal genetic code are reviewed briefly, and a perspective concerning the impact of molecular biology on the social ethos is presented. Contents: What is Life?The Nucleic Acids, DNA and RNAProteins — The Molecules of LifePinning Down the CodeDescription of the Genetic Triplet CodeOrigin and Development of the Genetic CodeA Physical Approach to Genetic OriginsReductionism versus HolismCultural and Material Impacts of Molecular Biology Readership: Professionals and students in fields related to biology, as well as general readers. Keywords:Genetic Code;Genetic Structure;Genetic Origins;Genome;Nucleic Acids;Living Organisms;Proteins;Codons;Codon Space;Tetrahedral Representation;Genetic Engineering
This book brings together twelve authors who look at the concept of the ""word"" from several different perspectives, inspiring in the reader a sense of wonder - to think of the lowly word, which we toss away in yesterday's newspaper, which we ignore on street signs, which we utter without giving a thought to the consequences of the power carried by the word. Moving from a psycholinguist explanation of the acquisition of language, the volume presents the function of the word in ""bad"" jokes, in ...
Religion's great and powerful mystery fascinates us, but it also terrifies. So too the monsters that haunt the stories of the Judeo-Christian mythos and earlier traditions: Leviathan, Behemoth, dragons, and other beasts. In this unusual and provocative book, Timothy K. Beal writes about the monsters that lurk in our religious texts, and about how monsters and religion are deeply entwined. Horror and faith are inextricable. Ans as monsters are part of religious texts and traditions, so religion lurks in the modern horror genre, from its birth in Dante's Inferno to the contemporary spookiness of H.P. Lovecraft and the Hellraiser films. Religion and Its Monsters is essential reading for students of religion and popular culture, as well as any readers with an interest in horror.
Author: Lynn E. H. Trainor
Publisher: World Scientific
Release Date: 2001
The purpose of this book is to bring to interested readers (professionals and laypersons alike) an appreciation and a basic understanding of what the genetic code is and why it has come to revolutionize thinking about living systems as a whole. The consequences of this revolution in molecular biology are so vast as to be almost incomprehensible. It seems important in a democratic society to have a citizenry well informed about the crucial issues of the day, such as genetic engineering and molecular medicine, which impact the social order and the ethos of society in such a profound way.This book discusses concisely the genetic code ? what it is and how it provides the key to molecular biology. The structures of DNA (as revealed by Watson and Crick) and of the various forms of RNA are described in some detail, and it is shown how these structures are marvellously adapted to the twin problems of inheritance of traits and faithful development of individual organisms. In this latter respect, the role of proteins as the ?molecules of life? is described and the central dogma of molecular biology (information flows from DNA to RNA to protein) elaborated. In addition, theories of the origin and development of the universal genetic code are reviewed briefly, and a perspective concerning the impact of molecular biology on the social ethos is presented.