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  • Titill er á ensku Heroic Themes in Genesis B
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This essay discusses the various heroic themes in the Old English poem Genesis B. The poem covers a small part of the Biblical story of Genesis, the fall of Man and the fall of the angels to Hell and is a translation of an Old Saxon poem. Germanic heroic influence is commonly found in Old English works, but in Genesis B the heroic themes seem to be the main focus of the poem. The reason why the poet chooses to rely so heavily on heroic themes is possibly because of his audience. The original poet and the translator use heroic themes to tell this Christian story in such a way that Germanic and Anglo-Saxon people would have appreciated and been able to relate to. There is much more focus on the characters’ emotions than in the Bible, and the poet gives his audience a reason for Satan’s disobedience and subsequent actions.
    The essay will examine the most prominent heroic themes of the poem and focus on the main theme of loyalty, and how the poet explores that in great detail through the heroic relationship between a lord and his retainers. All the characters are a part of such a relationship, and both God and Satan are portrayed as the lords of their own band of followers. The poet also faces the challenge of having to portray Satan’s pride as a sin despite pride being a common characteristic of Germanic heroes. Furthermore, the similarities between the characteristics and actions of Satan and the Norse god Loki are observed.

  • 6.5.2014

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