New York: W.W. Norton & Company

Select One and Write about

Using Source:
Beowulf. Trans. Seamus Heaney. Bilingual edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2000. ISBN: 978-0-393-32097-8
Alighieri, Dante. The Inferno of Dante. Trans. Robert Pinsky. Bilingual edition. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1996. ISBN: 978-0-374-52452-4

1.Discuss the ways in which Beowulf (by the Beowulf-poet) and the Inferno (by
Dante) can be seen as works with a deliberate theological angle and how the theme
of Christian morality plays a significant part in the main hero’s journey in both. In
each case, what do you think is the authorial intent In addition, considering this
specific comparative angle, identify the stark differences between the two poems.
[Note please do not write a general list of differences, but only explore the
differences from this specific perspective Christian morality, theology, etc.]

  1. Situate Beowulf (by the Beowulf-poet) and the Inferno (by Dante) within the
    parameters of two large categories, tragedy and comedy. Toward which category
    does each poem lean and why How does each poem also fit within the complex
    concept of tragi-comedy [Note consider the historical context in which the poems
    were written. Why would, for example, Beowulf be seen as a tragedy What does
    the historical moment in which the poem was written contribute to this idea]
  2. Even today, we deal with the ambiguities that surround the word, “monster.”
    Discuss what constitutes the “monstrous” in Beowulf [here, you could use the Old
    English word for “awesome,” which is ǣglǣca, discussed in lecture, if it fits your
    definition] and the Inferno and whether the end of the journey in each case
    provides any kind of resolutions to the “monstrous.” [In your introduction, it
    should be clear what you think is the “monstrous” in each. Also, this is a
    comparative prompt; thus, the essay should discuss this topic by identifying a
    certain link in both works as it relates to this topic.]
  3. Comparatively explicate the idea (presence, lack thereof, peculiarity, or
    objectification) of romantic or sensual love in Beowulf and in the Inferno. How
    does each epic hero treat the complex idea of love In the case of Beowulf, discuss
    the hero’s disinterest or non-priority in this matter, and in the Inferno, explore
    Dante’s portrayal of Beatrice and her role throughout the epic, as well as his poetic
    treatment of the famous lovers, Paolo and Francesca in Canto V. [Note that this is a
    comparative prompt; therefore, there needs to be some kind of a link between the
    two works you are discussing, considering the subject matter of this specific question

Sample Solution