It is partly due to the fact that the reception of theory in Old English studies has been less than welcoming that those scholars wanting to carry the water to our field of newer analytical models have been so measured and careful in their approaches that they almost never take foreknowledge for granted and have thereby bequeathed to us a great gift—they have taught us theory while also practicing and revising it, and they have not neglected in the process what is generally understood to be the great strength of traditional medieval studies: an attention to philology, history, and cross-disciplinary contexts.Indeed, because of our focus on literature within its manuscript context, we should hold open the question of our “after-ness” to theory since, as Roy Liuzza writes, the “poststructural recognition of the enigmatic contingency of the text, as well as the cultural critics’ attention to the social circumstances of literary production” already has its parallel in Old English studies, where critics, for a while now, have already been questioning “the authority of the text, the propriety of stylistic criticism, the means and circumstances of reading and reception, [and] the nature of literary creation and transmission.” Paul Strohm’s observation is correct: “Postmodern theory has always needed us,” mainly as “a necessary foil to an argument for an emergent modernity” and as a repository of a supposedly socially “static” world, but “[o]ur retort must be that our period, no less than any other, is the plagued and proud possessor of motile signs, category confusions, representational swerves and slippages, partial and competing and always irreconcilable narrations.” Strohm is also correct in suggesting that postmodernism is ultimately involved in a project in “which any good medievalist would describe himself or herself as engaged: the attempt to restore complexity to our understanding of the past.” This is similar to Lee Patterson’s argument some years ago that medieval scholarship has an important role to play in instructing “postmodern criticism in the historical complexity and concreteness of cultural forms.” And this means, too, I would argue, that medieval studies has a critical function to perform in refashioning contemporary theoretical models, through a rigorous historicism, that helps to extend and deepen the explanatory power of those models.On the one side is a heroic Beowulf who is very brave in battle and leads his people to victory.Tags: Submit Your Humour EssayHomework NoThe Benefits Of Reading EssayWhat Are The Critical Thinking SkillsHow To Be More Creative In WritingSatirical Essay On AbortionSample Thesis Statement For A Research Paper
Such students are likely to find critical analyses of literary works highly helpful.
Thus, when writing a critical essay on a poem such as Beowulf, one should keep the language as simple as possible.
The attempt to restore historical complexity to our understanding of the past and its cultural forms, and to also show how Old English studies both practice and reformulate theory, suffices as a description of the project of , which was initially born out of a desire to provide for students an anthology of “the best of” contemporary critical approaches to the poem and then later developed into a “casebook” that we hope more than amply demonstrates the ways in which Old English scholarship has debated, elucidated, practiced, historicized, and even developed theory in relation to the critical analysis of .
The book is divided into four sections—History/Historicism, Ethnography/Psychoanalysis, Gender/Identity, and Text/Textuality—that have been designed, not as much to represent specific movements within theory (such as deconstruction, new historicism, post-colonialism, Lacanian analysis, queer studies, and the like), as to offer broad contextual fields of inquiry within which certain questions regarding history, culture, identity, and language have perdured over time (and in response to which questions the more narrowly-defined theoretical “schools” have arisen).
However, considering that Beowulf’s heroism does not shield him from occurrences common to human beings, such as suffering, ageing, and death, it would have been better if the poet offered a picture of the human side of this apparently brave warrior, as well.
Tips on critical essay writing: Some students find literature difficult to comprehend.
By all means, the writer must avoid repeating phrases used in the poem.
Another hint to good essay critiquing is to highlight important issues, and then identify mistakes or inadequately addressed areas.
Beowulf is an epic poem in which the plot is intended to portray the unique heroism of German warriors.
As the poem’s main personality, Beowulf displays exceptional boldness and extraordinary strength whenever confronted by fierce enemies.