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An Anthology of Beowulf Criticism

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  4 reviews

The Christian coloring in the Beowulf by F.A. Blackburn
The heroic age, an excerpt by H. Munro Chadwick
The ideal of kingship in Beowulf by Levin L. Schücking
Beowulf: the monsters and the critics by J.R.R. Tolkien
The religious principle in Beowulf by Marie Padgett Hamilton
Beowulf by Kemp Malone
Beowulf and Christian allegory: an interpretation of Unferth by Morton W.
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published October 31st 1991 by University of Notre Dame Press (first published June 1963)
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Dec 25, 2012 Richard marked it as library-has-it
Contains Tolkien's 1936 lecture, "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics." A must-read for serious Tolkien fans or students of Anglo-Saxon literature.
I only read one essay in this anthology. But, it was Tolkien's essay on Beowulf, which is deserving of five stars. Some of the essay is specific to the time Tolkien was writing in, but overall it is a good essay that serves as a nice companion to his translation of Beowulf (it would have fit well in that book, actually). I enjoyed reading Tolkien's insights.
Michael Joosten
A collection of older criticism (1890s through about 1960), the most famous essay in this book is Tolkien's "The Monsters and the Critics." By itself, it is not necessary to track this edition down, since that has been printed elsewhere and more availably, but the other essays in this collection are erudite and if they do not reflect the most recent thinking on Beowulf, they DO demonstrate the full range of positions as they were taken during the first two-thirds of the 20th century.
The articles I read in this anthology, though somewhat dated in their interpretation, were generally very good. Beowulf is a well studied poem, and even out-of-date ideas retain relevance at least to some degree. Also, in this anthology is Tolkien's work on Beowulf, which is very much relevant today, not only for Beowulf, but for literature in general as well.
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