Discussion Questions: Beowulf

November 24, 2009 at 7:33 am Leave a comment

LT Classics Challenge Discussion Questions Post! These questions are meant to guide my reading and the Thursday discussion post, as well as the reading of those following along. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please wander on over to the LT Classics Challenge Page ! Remember, those who participate in at least one discussion during the Challenge are entered in December’s drawing.

Beowulf is a poem written by a Christian monk who sings the praises of a pagan hero. How is this tension between the two religions shown? Is the ideology of Beowulf finally Christian, pagan, or both?

As you know, Beowulf was originally written in Old English, also known as Anglo-Saxon. Translator Michael Alexander notes in the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition that it’s nearly impossible to translate poetry from Anglo-Saxon to Modern English without losing something, whether in meaning, structure, or meter. To what extent do you believe this compromises both the poem and the readers’ experience?

Is this poem’s role as the only surviving English epic make it worthy of study? Is it important enough to take its place beside other epics, such as The Odyssey and The Iliad?

Remember, I’ll be discussing Beowulf on Thursday!


Entry filed under: Classics, LT Classics Challenge. Tags: , , , .

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