Period 2, Session 2, Spring 2022

2.2.5 Beowulf and Grendel

Beowulf is considered to be the first great work of “English” literature although it was written in the Anglo-Saxon period (between the 7th – 10th centuries, C.E.) and in Old English. It concerns characters who did not live in Britain, but in Scandanavia. Mythic Beowulf, a Scandinavian prince, has killed Grendel, who threatened the lives of Beowulf’s people, the Geats. Later, Grendel’s Mother, one of the great monsters of history, seeks to avenge her son. We will be reading Beowulf for the first four weeks, and the great philosophical novel, Grendel, by John Gardner (1971), to examine Grendel’s side of the story. Please buy Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, A Verse Translation, Norton Critical Edition (2002) and before the first class, read Denis Donoghue’s Preface and Old English Language and Poetics. NEW!

Course Dates:

Course time:
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Instructor: Alice Twombly

Course Type: Online