Response To Beowulf

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Response to Literary Criticism In Tolkien’s lecture, “Beowulf: The monsters and the Critics,” he argues that Beowulf has been over analyzed for its historical content, and it is not being studied as a piece of art as it should be. He discusses what he perceives the poet of Beowulf intended to do, and why he wrote the poem the way he did. Tolkien’s main proposition, “it was plainly only in the consideration of Beowulf as a poem, with an inherent poetic significance, that any view or conviction can be reached or steadily held” (Tolkien). He evaluates why the author centers the monsters throughout the entire poem, why the poem has a non-harmonic structure, why and how the author fusses together Christianity and Paganism, and how the author uses time to make his fictional poem seem real. He also discusses the overall theme of Beowulf and other assumptions of the text. To support his viewpoints, Tolkien uses quotations and examples from the poem, quotations from other critics, and compares Beowulf to other works of art. Tolkien discusses several statements in interpreting Beowulf as a poem. …show more content…

He explains that Beowulf’s greatest weakness is that he is a man and men are not immortal. The author, according to Tolkien, is “concerned primarily with man on earth… each man and all men, and all their works shall die” (Tolkien). Therefore, all humans must be prepared to meet their end and accept their. I other words, individuals must learn how to die is the lesson that emerges from Beowulf. The reader learns that “defeat is the theme. Triumph over the foes of man’s precarious fortress is over, and we approach slowly and reluctantly the inevitable victory of death” (Tolkien). Even though Beowulf defeats the monsters he encounters and is victorious, he still has to die and nothing can change the fact because it is inevitable. There is nothing any man can do to change that

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