Tag Archives: Beowulf

Homer’s Warning about Revenge Killings

What will it take to bring peace between police and black communities? Homer has a vision of such a truce at the end of “The Odyssey” but it may not be realistic.

Posted in Clifton (Lucille), Homer, Silko (Leslie Marmon) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

King’s Clown Rampaged in Orlando

Perhaps more than any other American writer, Stephen King understands such incidents as the Orlando massacre. The famous horror writer dreams America’s nightmares and appears prescient when they come true.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, King (Stephen), Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grendel Strikes in Orlando

In what has become a grim tradition for this blog, I rerun my post on Grendelian violence in response to the Orlando mass killing at a gay bar.

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To Defeat White Militiamen, Be Beowulf

White militiamen rode into the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge like Grendel, but they left as though they had gone mano a mano with Beowulf. The fed essentially took a page out of the Geat warrior’s book and came away similarly successful.

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We Risk Becoming Grendel’s Mother

In reaction to the horrors of the Paris massacres, we are in danger of becoming consumed by the vengeful grief of Grendel’s Mother. The times call upon us to be Beowulf strong.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Cruz as Beowulf? Try Grendel

Thursday Normally I would be delighted with a New York Times article that matched up presidential candidates with works of literature, such as Ted Cruz with Beowulf, Hillary Clinton with Persuasion, and Bernie Sanders with Around the World in 80 Days. This piece, however, strikes me as so uninformative that it’s all but useless. I’ve tried […]

Posted in Austen (Jane), Beowulf Poet, Dickens (Charles), Hardy (Thomas), Twain (Mark), Verne (Jules) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Time Grendel Chose Umpqua

Every time there is another mass killing, this time at Umpqua Community College, I turn to “Beowulf.” Few works understand such violence as well as this medieval Anglo-Saxon epic.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Silko (Leslie Marmon) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grendel Violence Never Ends

Once again a horrific mass shooting. Once again an occasion to turn to “Beowulf.”

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Complex Inner Life of Teachers

Lily King’s “The English Teacher” is filled with literary lllusions, most of them thematically important.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Eliot (T.S.), Faulkner (William), Hardy (Thomas), Homer, Joyce (James), King (Lily), Poe (Edgar Allan), Twain (Mark) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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 texts I use are “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “Beowulf,” and “Wizard of Earthsea.”

Posted in Beowulf Poet, LeGuin (Ursula K.), Sir Gawain Poet | Also 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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.”

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Clifton (Lucille), Defoe (Daniel), Rabelais (Francois) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Tom Perkins & America’s Dragon-Like 1%

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

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Heaney’s Great “Beowulf” Translation

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

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Heaney (Seamus) | Also tagged , | 3 Comments

Prevent Sexual Assault with Literature

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

Posted in Beowulf Poet, De Troye (Chretien), Sir Gawain Poet | Also 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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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?

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Fielding (Henry) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Heller (Joseph), Steinbeck (John), Vonnegut (Kurt) | Also 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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , | 4 Comments

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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Kipling (Rudyard) | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Should Obama Boast Like Beowulf?

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

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

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.

Posted in Beowulf Poet | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment


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