A Beowulf Handbook

Overview

The most revered work composed in Old English, Beowulf is one of the landmarks of European literature. This handbook supplies a wealth of insights into all major aspects of this wondrous poem and its scholarly tradition.

 

Each chapter provides a history of the scholarly interest in a particular topic, a synthesis of present knowledge and opinion, and an analysis of scholarly work that remains to be done. Written to accommodate the needs of a broad audience, A Beowulf ...

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Overview

The most revered work composed in Old English, Beowulf is one of the landmarks of European literature. This handbook supplies a wealth of insights into all major aspects of this wondrous poem and its scholarly tradition.

 

Each chapter provides a history of the scholarly interest in a particular topic, a synthesis of present knowledge and opinion, and an analysis of scholarly work that remains to be done. Written to accommodate the needs of a broad audience, A Beowulf Handbook will be of value to nonspecialists who wish simply to read and enjoy Beowulf and to scholars at work on their own research. In its clear and comprehensive treatment of the poem and its scholarship, this book will prove an indispensable guide to readers and specialists for many years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Envoi
“This work fills a need long felt by students of Beowulf. . . . [It] gives a real sense of the excitement and variety of Beowulf studies. . . . An accessible guide.”—Envoi
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803261501
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Pages: 466
  • Sales rank: 1,122,245
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 Introduction: Beowulf, Truth, and Meaning 1
Ch. 2 Date, Provenance, Author, Audiences 13
Ch. 3 Textual Criticism 35
Ch. 4 Prosody 55
Ch. 5 Diction, Variation, the Formula 85
Ch. 6 Rhetoric and Style 105
Ch. 7 Sources and Analogues 125
Ch. 8 Structure and Unity 149
Ch. 9 Christian and Pagan Elements 175
Ch. 10 Digressions and Episodes 193
Ch. 11 Myth and History 213
Ch. 12 Symbolism and Allegory 233
Ch. 13 Social Milieu 255
Ch. 14 The Hero and the Theme 271
Ch. 15 Beowulf and Archaeology 291
Ch. 16 Gender Roles 311
Ch. 17 Beowulf and Contemporary Critical Theory 325
Ch. 18 Translations, Versions, Illustrations 341
List of Abbreviations 373
Works Cited 377
Index 431
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