A Beowulf Handbook

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Robert E. Bjork, John D. Niles
U of Nebraska Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 466 pages
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The individual chapters by eighteen scholars offer both a rapid survey of scholarly trends in the study of Beowulf and a more sustained exploration of selected problems. Each chapter begins with a brief summary of its contents followed by an annotated chronology of the most important books and articles on the particular topic it treats. The core of each chapter constitutes a history of scholarly interest in the topic under consideration, a synthesis of present knowledge and opinion, and an analysis of scholarly work that remains to be done. All of the chapters have been written to accommodate the needs of a broad audience - from nonspecialists who wish simply to read and enjoy Beowulf to scholars at work on their own research.
 

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Contents

Introduction Beowulf Truth and Meaning
1
Textual Criticism
35
Prosody
55
Diction Variation the Formula
85
Rhetoric and Style
105
Sources and Analogues
125
Structure and Unity
149
Christian and Pagan Elements
175
Symbolism and Allegory
232
Social Milieu
255
The Hero and the Theme
271
Beowulf and Archaeology
291
Gender Roles
311
Beowulf and Contemporary Critical Theory
325
Translations Versions Illustrations
341
List of Abbreviations
373

Digressions and Episodes
193
Myth and History
213

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About the author (1998)

Robert E. Bjork is a professor of English at Arizona State University. He is the author of The Old English Verse Saints? Lives: A Study in Direct Discourse and the Iconography of Style. John D. Niles is a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Beowulf: The Poem and Its Tradition.

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