Beowulf | Critical Essay by Margaret E. Goldsmith

Gareth Hinds
This literature criticism consists of approximately 16 pages of analysis & critique of Beowulf.
This section contains 8,798 words
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Critical Essay by Margaret E. Goldsmith

SOURCE: "The Christian Theme of Beowulf," in Medium Aevum, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, 1960, pp. 81-101.

In the following excerpt, Goldsmith contends that the story and symbolism of Beowulf are coherent only when the poem is given a Christian interpretation rather than a secular, pagan one; however, Goldsmith warns that the character Beowulf is not meant to be regarded as Christ-like.

I

The poem Beowulf as we have it contains indisputably Christian sentiments and vocabulary, and handles familiarly and allusively certain Biblical stories. Yet there lingers a belief that these are extraneous trappings, that the feeling of the poem is essentially pagan, or at the best only half-heartedly Christian. I shall seek to show that it gains considerably in coherence and significance if we allow ourselves to be guided by the poet's own emphases in the choice and presentation of...

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This section contains 8,798 words
(approx. 30 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John D. Niles