Quid Hinieldus Cum Christo?

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GRIN Verlag, 2010 - 56 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English - History of Literature, Eras, grade: sehr gut (1,0), Free University of Berlin (Anglistisches Seminar), language: English, abstract: Among the many features which shaped and defined the reception of Beowulf throughout the last 150 years, the poem's complex interplay of Germanic and Christian worldviews has certainly been one of the most controversial. In recent time, particular efforts have been made to account for the exact 'meaning' which the poem authenticates, i.e.: the point-of-view which Beowulf's Christian narrative voice exhibits towards the secular events depicted in the poem. In search for such an authorial stance, scholars have traditionally focused either on the Christian or the heroic dimension of the story: Whereas most 19th-century scholars (e.g. Ettmuller, Thorkelin, ten Brink), in the vein of a Romantic strive to unearth national origins, tended to emphasize its essentially pagan, mythical status and, consequently, downplayed the significance of any Christian interpolations, the 20th century (beginning with Klaeber) instead witnessed a radical shift towards a Christian, allegorical understanding of the poem. Although nowadays most critics opt for a more balanced viewpoint, the 'logical impossibility' of two coexisting cultural frameworks, into which Beowulf seems embedded, still remains and continues to generate much scholarly dispute. - In the course of this essay, I shall investigate the relation between heroic and Christian aspects in Beowulf and thus, try to account for the authorial meaning which the text itself is most likely to endorse."

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