English | Beowulf
L710 | 26975 | Fulk

L710  26975  FULK (#1)

4:00p – 6:45p M

Over the course of the semester we will translate Beowulf and The
Fight at Finnsurg in their entirety, using the edition of Frederick
Klaeber, and so a prerequisite is a course in the Old English
language, either G601 or its equivalent. Each class period will be
devoted both to translation and to discussion of the poem and
critical issues pertaining to it, such as the controversy over the
genesis and date of the poem, its textual criticism, codicology,
prosody and rhetoric, the relationship of the poem to other early
Germanic literature, its structure and poetic aims, the possible
makeup of the poem's audience, the roles of orality and literacy in
its composition, the nature of the poem's religious outlook, and the
history of the poem’s reception. In the first half of the semester
the greater emphasis will be on translation, in order to hone
competence in this area. To prepare for discussion, a certain amount
of reading in Beowulf scholarship will be assigned for each class
session. Members of the seminar will be responsible for reporting to
the class on significant issues, and a seminar paper will be
assigned. If there is sufficient time at the end of the semester
there will be presentations of the seminar papers. Before the
beginning of the semester, members of the seminar should have read
the poem in translation. At the first class session we will
translate the first 125 lines, and so members of the seminar should
prepare these beforehand.