Beowulf in the Alps, or, how I learned to stop grumbling and love alliterative metrics

Australian Medievalists

For someone who aimed for several years to specialise in Old English and Anglo-Saxon Studies, I never liked Beowulf terribly much. Not as much as I loved religious prose, and not as much as I liked Judith and Juliana or even Genesis B. Some of it was to do with how very little Beowulf himself interests me – compare Roland, who for whatever daft reason, I have always wanted hug. I was enticed into engaging with Beowulf via the canonical Overing essays on women, and more recent works like Magennis’ ‘Gender, Power and Heroism’ which use the women of Beowulf as comparison points for the likes of Judith. Some of this is down to personal taste, some to gender and/or Satan (Satan in Genesis B is just cool, ok?).

But some of it came down to… well, I find metrical analysis very difficult. It just doesn’t make easy sense to…

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