Garley, Matt, Slade, Benjamin and Marina Terkourafi. “Hwaet! LOL! Common Formulaic Functions in Beowulf.” Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Association 45 (1): 111-126.
This paper identifies six different formulaic functions that appear both in modern blogs and in Old English poetry. These six are discourse-structuring, filler, gnomic, epithetic, tonic and acronymic. The commonality of these linguistic features is interesting given the amount of time that has passed between the two genres. This shows that the purpose of communication has remained constant, at least in these areas.
Godfrey, J.E. “Beowulf as Martial Epic.” Unpublished dissertation, Texas Tech University, 2011. http://repositories.tdl.org/ttu-ir/handle/2346/19379
This dissertation focuses on the similarities between Beowulf and other epics of war. The conventions of this type of epic are discussed, as well as the rhetorical devices that the martial epic typically encompasses. This is an excellent source for those writing comparison/contrast papers between this epic and those of the ancient Greek cultures.
Goldberg, Mila. “Gods, Men, Monsters: The defamiliarisation of myth in Beowulf and Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Unpublished dissertation. https://ujdigispace.uj.ac.za/handle/10210/4796
The purpose of this dissertation is to show the parallels between shifts in the portraiture of figures of myth, tales and images represent shifts in social ideology. Within Beowulf, all of these images speak to the very nature of mythology. The idioms at work in this mythological epic to make the overall story less familiar to the audience. The end result is a helpful article about each of the many idioms in Beowulf.
Griffiths, Carol. “Using Songs in the Language Classroom.” Proceia 70, pp. 1136-1143. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.01.169
This is a helpful article about the universal benefits of music education. Pointing out that songs are merely poems sent to music, this article seeks to point out the ways in which songs appeal to people at all ages and ability levels. When teaching songs, even at a fairly elementary level, it is possible to start talking about literature at the device level, which is an important part of developing meaningful literacy.
Hill, John M., ed. On the Aesthetics of Beowulf and other old English poems. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. Print.
This book takes a look at the characteristics that make one elderly Anglo-Saxon poem more appreciated than others. In this book, there are three chapters on Beowulf, each of which focuses on a different aesthetic consideration of the poem. Chapter 11 focuses on the structure of the poem and the ways in which passion and desire inform the structure. Chapters 4 and 9 focus on the ways in which the beauty of poetry is expressed through this epic. All three chapters look at the use of devices as artistic tools.
Hough, Carole. “Beowulf Lines 480b and 531a: Beore Druncen Again.” Neophilologus 88(2): 303- 305.
There has been some controversy as to the meaning of the term druncen in this epic. The traditional interpretation has been one of mild conviviality rather than intoxication. However, its pairing with the word beeor, which usually denotes a stronger drink than beer, suggests that this image from the poem involves more alcohol than one may think.
Jones, Chris. “Where Now the Harp? Listening for the Sounds of Old English Verse, from Beowulf to the Twentieth Century.” Oral Traditions 24 (2): 112-117.
Even in an era when so much is available via print, poetry cannot escape its oral beginnings. This is why songs are still so popular, because poems are meant to be read, if not sung, and heard rather than read. This paper looks at the changes in the use of sound devices (rhyme, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance and others) over time, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the last century. Implications for interpretation include the difficulty of appreciating Old English from the printed page.
Klautau, Diego. “The Two Eyes of the Dragon: An Analysis of Beowulf from Tolkien’s and Borges’ Perspective.” Ciberteologia 7(33): 42-61.
This article focuses on the possibility of Christian inspiration in the writing of Beowulf. Several of the different instances of symbolism and imagery appear in this article as pieces of evidence that the author had a Christian sensibility, at least with regard to the theology of his day. The article analyzes both devices in general terms as well as in terms of following the main idea.
McCarthy, Conor. Seamus Heaney and Medieval Poetry. Woodbridge, Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 2008.
This book looks at the different work Seamus Heaney has accomplished with regard to the body of existing medieval poetry, including his seminal translation of Beowulf. Particular attention is paid to the skillful way in which Heaney takes the meaning from the original language and either finds the best translations for devices in the old text or finds new equivalents for those devices.
Mei, Dong. “Analysis on Chinese and British Cultural Differences Embodied in Beowulf’s Allegorical Images.” Journal of Anshun University June 2011. http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-ASSZ201106012.htm
This article focuses on the use of allegory throughout Beowulf. Because this epic is considered representative of British culture, the authors of this article focus on the differences between the particular images chosen for this poem and images that are chosen in similar situations in Chinese epics. The differences are analyzed to show the differences between the two cultures.
Min, Fan. “Study on Construction of Beauty of Poem in Poetry Translation.” Journal of Beijing International Studies University June 2007. http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-JDEW200706002.htm
This article looks at the translation of poetry in a number of situations, as in from one contemporary language to another, as well as in from an older form of a language to a more modern one. Beowulf is one of the poems under consideration in this piece. The work that such contemporary translators as Seamus Heaney have accomplished as far as preserving the beauty of the piece is given significant treatment.
Morris, Damian. Spirituality in Beowulf. Berlin: GRIN Verlag, 2011.
This book looks at the different expressions of spirituality in the epic. Because so many different figurative devices in the book play into the expression of spirituality, this is a rich source for those looking at these sorts of tactics to convey meaning. While there are other sources that claim a more Christian backdrop for the faith expressed in this book, here the source appears to be a more animistic deity.
Noel, Patrizia. “Layers of Versification in Beowulf.” Anglia 127 (2): 238-260.
Many scholars believe that Beowulf shows the very oldest principles of versification in Germanic literature and, as such, serves as an archetype for the German metrics. This article analyzes the different types of versification throughout the epic, looking at them in terms of Old English and an extinct Germanic trend. The combination of these two patterns gives the epic its complex metrical scheme.
Simms, Douglas. “Reconstructing an Oral Tradition: Problems in the Comparative Metrical Analysis of Old English, Old Saxon and Old Norse Alliterative Verse.” Unpublished dissertation, University of Texas, 2003. http://hdl.handle.net/2152/937.
Focusing on the device of alliteration, this paper looks at the extreme difficulty that translators face in preserving the rich alliteration in medieval poetry for modern readers. While preserving the themes and even the symbolic value of much of the verse, remaining true to the actual words, or getting close enough to alliterate, has been very difficult.
Suzuki, Seiichi. The Metre of Old Saxon Poetry: The Remaking of Alliterative Tradition. Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell and Brewer, 2004.
This is another work focusing on ways to preserve the rich devices of the original languages of many of the works written in the Middle Ages. Because it is necessary to find new words for so many expressions in the old texts, maintaining alliteration and even the right meter is a major challenge for translators. This book discusses trends in those areas.
Suzuki, Seiichi. The Metrical Organization of Beowulf: Prototype and Isomorphism. New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1996.
This is a work by Suzuki focusing on the metrical scheme at work in Beowulf. The purpose of this book is to outline the specific scheme at work in the epic. The terms “prototype” and “isomorphism” refer to the general form of the metrical pattern and the changes that the form undergoes during the course of the epic. In Beowulf, it is the changes that Suzuki finds most interesting, as part of a theory of a combined composition.
Tyler, Elizabeth M. Old English Poetics: The Aesthetics of the Familiar in Anglo-Saxon England. York: Boydell and Brewer, 2006.
Whether a poem is old or new, a great deal of its success depends on its ability to render the familiar in a compelling way. This book looks at ways that poems from Old English accomplish this (or fail to do so). There is considerable attention paid to the use of the familiar in Beowulf in a figurative way in order to accomplish rhetorical meaning.
Weiskott, Eric. “Making Beowulf Scream: Exclamation and the Punctuation of Old English Poetry.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 111(1): 25-41.
Beowulf is one of the first examples of writing in the ancestor languages to English that shows the use of what would become the modern exclamation point. This article talks about the different ways that the author of Beowulf brought emotional intensity to the poem. While the exclamation point is certainly an example, syntax and diction also appear in the discussion.
Whissell, Cynthia. “The Flow of Emotion Through Beowulf.” Psychological Reports 99: 835-850.
This article details an analysis of the connotative flow through the entire saga. The words and sequences resulting in pleasantness and activation were tracked to see how they flowed in comparison with the plot. While this might be more designed for a social sciences paper, the study of diction and its relation to connotation also makes this valid for a study of poetry.
Williamson, Craig. Beowulf and Other Old English Poems. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Print.
Much of this book is the Williamson translation from the original Anglo-Saxon language. For purposes of stuying the devices, Williamson's introductions to Beowulf as well as the other poems that appear in this book talk about the devices that appear in the book. Tom Shippey's foreword places many of these devices in the context of the culture of the day. Reading the annotations alongside the text allows the reader to gain insight into the devices as he reads them.