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Beowulf as an archetypal hero: "Beowulf", Seamus Heaney's translation and Joseph Campbell

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Date Issued:
2002
Summary:
The title character of Beowulf functions as an archetypal hero who can be analyzed through the work of mythologist, Joseph Campbell. Beowulf's adventures follow the separation-initiation-return pattern described by Campbell. Furthermore, Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf adds to mythological understanding of the poem which is clarified by reading it in light of Campbell's theory. Just as sixty years ago, Tolkien's work gave the reader a new way of understanding Beowulf, Heaney's interpretation allows the reader to notice fresh aspects of the poem. Additionally, Heaney's reading, with its emphasis on the "mythic potency" of the work, is especially receptive to interpretation in the light of the mythic undercurrents that Campbell examines so extensively. The introduction, too, stresses the universality and timelessness of these old tales. Moreover, comparing these folkloric elements to similar ones found in fairy tales might broaden the reader's understanding of the poem.
Title: Beowulf as an archetypal hero: "Beowulf", Seamus Heaney's translation and Joseph Campbell.
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Name(s): Ingalls, Ingrid Elisabeth Derfler.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Faraci, Mary, Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2002
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 87 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The title character of Beowulf functions as an archetypal hero who can be analyzed through the work of mythologist, Joseph Campbell. Beowulf's adventures follow the separation-initiation-return pattern described by Campbell. Furthermore, Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf adds to mythological understanding of the poem which is clarified by reading it in light of Campbell's theory. Just as sixty years ago, Tolkien's work gave the reader a new way of understanding Beowulf, Heaney's interpretation allows the reader to notice fresh aspects of the poem. Additionally, Heaney's reading, with its emphasis on the "mythic potency" of the work, is especially receptive to interpretation in the light of the mythic undercurrents that Campbell examines so extensively. The introduction, too, stresses the universality and timelessness of these old tales. Moreover, comparing these folkloric elements to similar ones found in fairy tales might broaden the reader's understanding of the poem.
Identifier: 9780493912790 (isbn), 12935 (digitool), FADT12935 (IID), fau:9807 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2002.
Subject(s): Heaney, Seamus,--1939-2013
Campbell, Joseph,--1904-
Beowulf
Epic poetry, English (Old)--History and criticism
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/12935
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.