Eng 205 – Beowulf Questions

14Sep 2021 by
Please use the following book/reference: 
Anglo-Saxon England and Old English Literature continued
• Read selections from Beowulf (13-90), esp. ll. 1-490, 662-835, 1251-1650, 2200-2353, 2397- 2424, 2510-end.)

As in previous threads, address the following questions using specific references to the texts, videos, and notes.  However, do not just mechanically answer each question one after another or simply summarize the text.  

In what ways is Beowulf a hero? How does he exemplify the Anglo-Saxon ideal of heroism? Consider his behavior in comparison to “heroes” such as Christ in “The Dream of the Rood” or Byrhtnoth in “The Battle of Maldon.”

In Beowulf, we see several themes or tropes encountered in the other short poems in addition to the heroic ideal: the comitatus. or loyal band of warrior retainers, the pain of exile, noble death, and so on. What conclusions can you draw from this about Anglo-Saxon culture?

Is Beowulf a Christian poem? Why, or why not? (This has been the subject of decades of writing and discussion, so don’t assume it’s an easy yes-no question or a settled debate!)

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