Beowulf | Critical Essay by Jack Durant

Gareth Hinds
This literature criticism consists of approximately 11 pages of analysis & critique of Beowulf.
This section contains 3,104 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jack Durant

Critical Essay by Jack Durant

SOURCE: "The Function of Joy in Beowulf," in Tennessee Studies in Literature, Vol. VII, 1962, pp. 61-69.

In the excerpt that follows, Durant defines three types or "levels" of joy in Beowulf and demonstrates how these levels work to unify the poem 's structure, present its major plots, and support some of its themes.

Critics rarely fail to remark the heavy aura of gloom surrounding Beowulf. To Klaeber, for example, the Beowulf-poet evidences an "especial fondness" for "feelings of grief and sadness." [All citations to Beowulf are taken from Fr. Klaeber's third edition (Boston, 1950) of the poem.] Tolkien goes even so far as to style the poem an heroic-elegy. "In a sense," he writes, "all its first 3136 lines are the prelude to a dirge." Even the joy in Beowulf is largely looked upon as a foil for sorrow. Thus Adrien Bonjour...

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This section contains 3,104 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jack Durant
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