IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 801: Old English Heroic Poetry: Origins and Modern Reception

Tuesday 13 July 2004, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Hugh Magennis, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Paper 801-aBeowulf and the Arts: The Ornamentation of Weapons and Body Armour
(Language: English)
Ingrid Wotschke, Independent Scholar, Magdeburg
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 801-cLate 19th- and Early 20th-Century Reception of the Old English Judith
(Language: English)
Judith Kaup, Englisches Seminar, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universit├Ąt, Bonn
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Women's Studies

grouped by Mary Swan (30/10/03):
Abstract paper -a:
The literary presentation of weapons and body armour is discussed with regard to its mythological significance and corresponding social implications. Objects described in the poem are compared to surviving archeological evidence in order to relate them to a period when old values were still persisiting and new ones were beginning to be establishd. The paper is meant to contribute to the controversial discussion on the poem’s origin in the time of transition from Heathenism to Christianity.

Abstract paper -b:
Translation is a field where cultures clash. When Beowulf was created in Hungarian verse, the translator faced difficult decisions of whats ort of concepts to call up in his reader’s mind, when imagining the Anglo-Saxon hero. Edvidently the images in the title are the wrong ones, and he does not use them. But could he, and if so, how could he shape an Anglo-Saxon hero out of Hungarian words loaded with layers of meanings calling up concepts alien to the Anglo-Saxon world. The paper comes to a slightly different conclusion from what the translator claims he intended to do.

Abstract paper -c:
In this paper I propose to deal with the earliest phase of scholarly attention paid to the Old English Judith. As will be shown, subsequent treatment of the text is influenced by commonly accepted word glosses and readings dating from this period. Relevant questions include the possible influence of the contemporary conception of women and their role in society on the treatment and evaluation of the text. Special attention will be paid to problems related to the glossary. My paper represents part of a work in progress as I am currently working on my doctoral thesis on the Judith.