Beowulf and the Demise of Germanic Legend in England

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Booknews
Applies comparative cultural history, or historical anthropology, to the study of Germanic legend as embedded in Beowulf and other Old English poetry. Demonstrates how the core legend of the bear-hero was shaped to serve successive ideological and political interests, and why Germanic legend vanished from England long before the Norman Conquest. Discusses pagan and Christian influences, the hero's two fights, and the kin-feud element. Excerpts are in the original and in modern English. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Legendary Analogues to Myth 1
1 The Evolution of Anglo-Saxon Paganism 9
2 The Conversion of England to Christianity 31
3 Cultural Assimilation in the Anglo-Saxon Royal Genealogies 51
4 The Preservation and Decay of Germanic Legend in England 65
Widsid 65
Hildebrandslied 71
The Fight at Finnsburh 77
Waldere 80
Deor 84
5 The Exorcism of Grendel 89
6 The Fury of Kin-Feud 113
7 Wyrd and the World-Serpent 135
Conclusion: The Twilight of the Heroes 159
Appendix One: The Pagan-Christian Question 165
Appendix Two: The Date of Beowulf's Composition 171
Appendix Three: Beowulf's Sin 175
Appendix Four: Beowulf's Salvation 179
Bibliography 185
Index 231
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