We just had a class discussion on Beowulf in my medieval England class. It's the only version I've actually read, so I don't know it all versions of it have the heavily forced Christian elements jammed in. What's incredibly frustrating about all this is that my classmates are largely incapable of looking beyond the forced Christian metaphors. To me, it's much more interesting to ignore that and are what it shows about Germanic culture. Focusing on the artificial Christian aspects is like forcing the Christian god in to the story of Hercules and focusing on that! Grendel's mother is not a damn metaphor for Eve! Grendel himself is not a stand-in for Cain. It's not a condemnation of pagans, who are "unable" to defend themselves because they don't "know" God. You know why none of those things are true? Because the societies that created the story and passed along the oral tradition were freaking pagans! Some thieving middle ages monks co-opting the story (in a very ham-handed and crude manner) does not retroactively change the roots of the story.

The professor kept trying to get people to talk about the Germanic roots, and how the Christians tried to use it. But people kept raising their hands with crap like, "I think Grendel's mother's lair is a reverse parallel of Eden!" No it's not! It's a damn swamp! Bunch of freaking morons.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

0 Responses