Gold-Hall And Earth-Dragon

Overview

The aim of "Gold-Hall and Earth-Dragon" is to re-create as fully as possible for modern readers the original force of the poetic language of Beowulf. Lee makes use of a wide, archetypal literary context for Beowulf to provide illuminating parallels and contrasts with poems and fictions from other times and places. He demonstrates how the poem's symbolic system reveals itself through the metaphorical workings of the Old English words, patterns of imagery, and more general narrative structures, and how the poem ...
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Overview

The aim of "Gold-Hall and Earth-Dragon" is to re-create as fully as possible for modern readers the original force of the poetic language of Beowulf. Lee makes use of a wide, archetypal literary context for Beowulf to provide illuminating parallels and contrasts with poems and fictions from other times and places. He demonstrates how the poem's symbolic system reveals itself through the metaphorical workings of the Old English words, patterns of imagery, and more general narrative structures, and how the poem might have been experienced and interpreted by the Anglo-Saxons in the light of other Old English poems. The critical tools that Lee uses - combining certain techniques of New Criticism and close reading with postmodern theories of the self-referentiality of language and with Northrop Frye's conceptions of structure and polysemy in literature - make possible a fresh new account of Beowulf as a work that is very much alive in its poetic language, a finely wrought symbolic work of imagining, still resonant with meanings old and new.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442613126
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alvin A. Lee is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at McMaster University, a research associate at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, and general editor of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 3
Pt. I Modes of Imagining and the Workings of Words 7
1 Wunder aefter Wundre: Modes of Imagining 9
2 Word O[dh]er Fand: The Inwardness of Kennings 53
3 [Th]ry[dh]word Sprecen: The Language of Myth and Metaphor 84
4 Ealdgesegena Worn Gemunde: Memory and Identity 114
Pt. II Structure and Meaning 139
5 Fyr on Flode: War against the Creation 141
6 Swa Sceal Man Don: Germanic Tales and Christian Myths 177
7 Heold on Heahgesceap: The Structure of the Poem, the Heroic Theme, and the Shape of the Hero's Life 205
8 Nu Is Wilgeofa ... Dea[dh]bedde Faest: Tragedy and the Limits of Heroism 232
Conclusion 252
Notes 255
Bibliography 263
Index 271
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