Teaching Medievalism: Beowulf and Tolkien

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Teaching Medievalism: Beowulf and Tolkien

Post by annmart on Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:05 am

This past semester I was lucky enough to sneak in Beowulf into the poetry class I was teaching. We read Seamus Heaney's translation, and students seemed to enjoy the ease of the language. Interestingly enough, the point that lead to the most amount of discussion was showing clips from the recent Beowulf movies (sorry if there are fans out there, but they are all horrible!). We focused on representations of Grendel, and student kept going on and on about their theories on why directors/writers had chosen one representation over another. They were able to get analytically creative with Grendel's infamous lack of description.

On another note, I will be teaching Tolkien's Return of the King this coming semester in a class that focuses on the representation of the hero. Has anyone out there taught this before? Are there any tips you'd like to share with me?


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