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Unformatted text preview: Beowulf Death in Legend
March 31, 2010 If you have missed quizzes, come to my office hours to have them rereleased If you need special accommodations for final please let us know ASAP Monster Theory folder in eReadings Business as Usual We do not have a Final Exam; Midterm II will be in class, Wednesday April 21 Final Project due in class, Wednesday, April 28, with optional extension until 10:00 AM Thursday, May 6. Projects turned in after 4/28 MUST be turned in at the office of your recitation leader Preface, on monster culture, Beowulf, and the unquiet dead in the sagas Approaching Contemporary Religion Show Neopaganism same respect you would show any other religion and make same demands of leaders, practitioners, and/or representation Be tactful but critical in your categorization Remember aspects of need and choice We do not need to identify with religious practices to appreciate the value they hold for the believer Popular culture is not a religion Appropriations, adaptations and cultural reenactments are not religion, they are marketing of old religion Hate is not religion and does not deserve our tolerance Death in Legend Beowulf Beowulf The first page of the only existing manuscript Paper Clear writing and plenty of space between lines For comparison: 2 pages from the Codex Regius (The manuscript containing the Poetic Edda) Composed ~ 7501099 in Old English Language vs. Location Events take place in 6th century All characters are pagan with pagan values The poet is a Christian monk Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) Known reference points? Danes: Schieldings, Ingwins, (Jutes, Angles) Geats: Gtar Swedes: (Ynglings, Vlsungs) Frisians, Burgundians, Goths, Huns Connections to oral traditions A Poem and a Source A heroic poem telling of Beowulf's two great deeds Themes alluding to culture and rituals The killing of Grendel and Grendel's mother The killing of the dragon The dynamics of the "Viking" group Alliances and loyalty Reward and reputation Rites and reference to death Source for the Viking band in Beowulf Transgressions of Body
What is the real horror of Grendel and/or his mother? A) That they attack humans B) That they kill indiscriminately C) That they mutilate the bodies D) That they eat the dead Ibn Fadlan's Death in History Risala Vikings in the East Continuous translation "Lost" in Translation Outsider who knows neither language, From Old Norse to Greek to Arabic (to English from fractions of manuscripts) From Paganism to Christian Orthodox to Islam culture, nor religion Observer, not a participant, i.e. not an eye witness to the final rituals and/or sacrifice Source for the opening of 13th Warrior Loosely adapted without critical interpretation For Recitations Ibn Fadlan's Risala The Risala
What does this text tell us about pagan rituals surrounding death? 2. How/what does it add to the knowledge we may derive from archaeological finds? 3. What, if anything, is problematic about this text as a source for pagan rites?
1. Schedule Recitations: Close reading of Fadlan Readings for next week: Cohen, "Monster Culture (Seven Theses)" (From Monster Theory, CULearn); Miura, Berserk, Vol. 1 Theory, CULearn); Review prior readings on Loki, Jrmungandr, Fenrir and Hel, as well as Beowulf and the 13th Warrior ...
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- Spring '08