perform a close reading of Beowulf and develop an original claim

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Your goal in this assignment is to perform a close reading of Beowulf and develop an original claim by identifying an opportunity for conversation in the text. The best way to do this is to begin by locating an element of Beowulf that fascinates, shocks, or perplexes you. By articulating what interests you in the text, you should have an easier time identifying a specific opportunity for conversation: a gap, tension, contradiction, ambiguity, or difficulty in the text or the subject of the text. Compose a paper of at least three full pages in which you offer your original claim and support that claim with evidence from your close reading of the text. In this assignment, you will draw on part of the Beowulf poet’s text to develop a new, original view of your own.

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Beowulf’s Christianity

When thinking about Beowulf, one would be more likely to draw a parallel between the
Scandinavian epic and older, Grecian epics than with the parables found in the Christian Bible.
However, depending on the translation or interpretation of the text that one holds, the religious
undertones can become more noticeable than any other link to previous literature. While it is true
that Christian writers ventured into epic writing -- particularly, to tell the tales of Christian
warriors, often worthy knights, in their rightful journeys for good -- this incursion would not
happen until the Middle Ages. The Song of Roland, an old French epic, would be the first European
tale that focused, directly, in the exploits of a Christian protagonist. Up to that point, most of the
tales crafted would focus on the valor of heroes, as measured by the arbitrary standards of their
times. For Roland, these standards were definitely Christian in their nature. For those who were
born from Greece, their stories would be guided by the involvement of the Grecian gods. Beowulf,
on the other hand, with the heavy focus on aspects of Christianity, was completely unexpected.
Though it is not known for sure when the poem was written, it is estimated that the text was written...

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