Beowulf | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Larry D. Benson

Gareth Hinds
This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of Beowulf.
This section contains 7,542 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Larry D. Benson

SOURCE: “The Pagan Coloring of Beowulf,” in Contradictions: From “Beowulf” to Chaucer; Selected Studies of Larry D. Benson, edited by Theodore M. Andersson and Stephen A. Barney, Scolar Press, 1995, pp. 15-31.

In the essay below, originally written in 1967, Benson studies the apparent conflict in Beowulf between Christian and pagan elements, observing that modern assumptions concerning the attitude of the Christian poet and his audience toward paganism are incorrect. Benson goes on to argue that understanding the relationship between Christian Englishmen and Germanic pagans allows us to view the poem as a framework within which Christians could contemplate the idea of the “good pagan.”

The old theory that Beowulf is an essentially pagan work only slightly colored with the Christianity of a later scribe has now been dead for many years, and...

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This section contains 7,542 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Larry D. Benson