Category Archives: Beowulf Poet

Hoping against Hope in the Face of Death

Following philosopher Adrienne Martin, I meditate on what it means to “hope against hope” or to have “unimaginable hope.” The text I use are “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “Beowulf,” and “Wizard of Earthsea.”

Also posted in LeGuin (Ursula K.), Sir Gawain Poet | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

If Beowulf Went to War with ISIS

The Jordanian response to the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot reminds us that Grendel’s Mother is on the loose in the Middle East. Beowulf models how we should respond.

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Grendel in Paris

As with other mass killings, “Beowulf” has lessons for the Paris massacre. Defoe and Rabelais, meanwhile, give us insight in the targeted satirical journal “Charlie Hebdo.”

Also posted in Clifton (Lucille), Defoe (Daniel), Rabelais (Francois) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Queer and Marxist Readings of Beowulf”

A Buzzfeed post uses as proof of English majors’ superiority the fact that they can execute queer and Marxist interpretations of “Beowulf.” We explore what such interpretations would entail.

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Tom Perkins & America’s Dragon-Like 1%

Tom Perkins complaining about Nazi-like progressives resembles the dragon in “Beowulf.”

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Heaney’s Great “Beowulf” Translation

One of the late Seamus Heaney’s great legacies is his translation of “Beowulf.”

Also posted in Heaney (Seamus) | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Prevent Sexual Assault with Literature

If men are to overcome their predatory natures, they must become gentle-men. Literature can help.

Also posted in De Troye (Chretien), Sir Gawain Poet | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Politics and Beowulf Wish Fulfillment

People who think a modern Beowulf can come in and fix our political problems are delusional.

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Obama’s Star, Beowulf’s Sword

Obama’s “star that guides us”–the ideals in “The Declaration of Independence”–are, in “Beowulf,” the sword used to kill Grendel’s Mother.

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Budget Arm Wrestling with the GOP

Obama appears to be playing Beowulf-hard rather than Wealtheow-soft in budget negotiations with the GOP.

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Lit Options for Election Day Defeat

Responding to election day loss, will we be calm like Henry Fielding or in agony like Grendel?

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Wanted: Beowulf Strength vs. Extremism

“Beowulf” teaches us that rewarding extremism encourages rather than moderates it. The GOP should not therefore be rewarded with the presidency.

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Beowulf for Four More Years

Obama’s journey over the past four years has been Beowulf’s journey, both in its high points and in its low.

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Steinbeck on Why the Rich Are Unhappy

Steinbeck and the Beowulf poet both point out that piling up wealth does not lead to happiness.

Also posted in Heller (Joseph), Steinbeck (John), Vonnegut (Kurt) | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Obama in the Grip of Grendel’s Mother?

Is Obama in a funk over his responsibilities as a war president? If so, “Beowulf” has answers.

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Dragon Billionaires Assaulting America

Mitt Romney’s characterization of 47% of the American public as people who won’t take responsibility for their lives signals that he is a dragon in the Beowulf mode.

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Calling on Beowulf in the Middle East

Middle Eastern leaders could learn from Beowulf–and so could Mitt Romney–as they deal with anti-American riots.

Also posted in Kipling (Rudyard) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Should Obama Boast Like Beowulf?

Obama sells himself in a softer way than Beowulf does. is he right to do so?

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Election 2012: Time to Be Beowulf Strong

The current political situation calls for us to be Beowulfs.

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Beowulf, an Early Olympic Swimmer

Beowulf engages in a swimming contest of Olympian dimensions.

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How Beowulf Can Save America, the Book

The process of writing a book applying “Beowulf” to contemporary American politics has brought me insight and hope.

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Will Obama Be Beowulf and Defy the NRA?

Cowering before the NRA just prompts them to become even more extreme. Obama needs to be a Beowulf.

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Satan Strikes Again, This Time in Aurora

The shootings in Aurora, Colorado call forth literary works about evil stalking the world, including “Beowulf” and “Paradise Lost.”

Also posted in Milton (John) | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Destructive Grieving for a Lost America

Grieving for a lost America reaches deep across the political spectrum, “Beowulf” provides a healthy response.

Also posted in Robinson (Marilynne) | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Creeping Sense of Entitlement

King Hrothgar in “Beowulf” describes the creeping sense of entitlement that can possess a society’s wealthiest citizens.

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Could Beowulf Have Saved Jews?

In her book about Eichmann, Hannah Arendt praises the Danes for how they stood up to the Nazis. One can draw a parallel with how Beowulf stands up to Grendel and also apply the lesson to the Trayvon Martin case.

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Has Obama Been a Naïve Wealtheow?

Pundits debates whether Obama has been naive in his dealings with opponents. The same question can be asked of Queen Wealtheow in “Beowulf.”

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How Beowulf Can Save America

In our angry politics, we have versions of the monsters in “Beowulf.” The Geat warrior instructs tell us what we can do to effectively deal with the anger.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Tagged , | 11 Comments

The Black Dragon Scales of Grief

Nobel laureate Thomas Tranströmer’s poem “After a Death” accurately captures how it feels to lose someone you love.

Also posted in Tranströmer (Thomas) | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Après Peyton, le Déluge

News that Peyton Manning may be out for part or all of the upcoming football season puts me in mind of the future of the Geats after Beowulf’s death.

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Obama Passes the Beowulf Test

When subjected to the Beowulf test on good leadership, Obama scores surprisingly well.

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