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Lecture 5

ENGL 141 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Heremod, Geats, Elegy

2 pages79 viewsFall 2017

Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 141
Professor
Eric Jager
Lecture
5

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End of Beowulf
Ends with elegy
Elegaic moments
Do not confuse it with eulogy
Means to mourn
Its own genre
What is Beowulf’s principle role?
A king or a warrior when he confronts the dragon?
Does he confuse these roles?
Is the old king trying to be a young warrior again?
Does that contribute to his demise?
Why he goes after the dragon: protecting the Geats, avenge his people and hall, and
winning glory in battle
Cycle of revenge: dragon takes treasure, peasant takes treasure, dragon destroys hall,
and Beowulf goes after the dragon
Heremod is the old greedy king that Hrogar warns Beowulf about
No evidence of that
Dragon rekindles his desire for gold
Look at 199-208
“Now the edge of the sword, hand and hard blade, must fight for the treasure”
(2508-2509)
When does treasure outweighs protecting the people?
Is he becoming Heremod?
Cup of waves refers to the sea
Jumps into the future
Links to the treasure of the dragon
Dragon Fight - monster makes three separate battle rushes
Lots of emphasis on Wiglaf’s loyalty
Wiglaf becomes the heir to Beowulf’s throne
What happens to the treasure? It gets reburied
Page 243: useless to men
Personification
Scavenging
Trope: beasts of the battle
Beowulf’s poet is said to hoard this trope
Culture marked by violence and instability
1. Cyclical violence
2. Structure + style
3. Oral tradition
4. Literacy (church)
a. Characters with Christian qualities
5. Writing
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