Heroic Identity in the World of Beowulf

Heroic Identity in the World of Beowulf

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Readers of qBeowulfq have noted inconsistencies in Beowulf's depiction, as either heroic or reckless. qHeroic Identity in the World of Beowulfq resolves this tension by emphasizing Beowulf's identity as a foreign fighter seeking glory abroad. Such men resemble qwreccan, q qexilesq compelled to leave their homelands due to excessive violence. Beowulf may be potentially arrogant, therefore, but he learns prudence. This native wisdom highlights a king's duty to his warband, in expectation of Beowulf's future rule. The dragon fight later raises the same question of incompatible identities, hero versus king. In frequent reference to Greek epic and Icelandic saga, this revisionist approach to qBeowulfq offers new interpretations of flyting rhetoric, the custom of qmen dying with their lord, q and the poem's digressions.Where the external Christian audience may intuit Goda#39;s a€œright-mindeda€ deputy, the pagan characters see a champion motivated by glory ... 52 For a thorough analysis of the relational terms found in Beowulf see Bazelmans 114, 136.

Title:Heroic Identity in the World of Beowulf
Author:Scott Gwara
Publisher:BRILL - 2008


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