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Tuesday, December 6 • 9:20am - 9:40am
The Religious Appropriation Of The Dragon In Beowulf

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This project analyzes the Christian and pagan symbolism of the unnamed dragon featured in the last few scenes of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. Despite the immense amount of scholarship focused on the Grendel-kin, the most infamous creatures within the poem, the dragon is only peripherally considered – disregarded as an archetypal representation of the fire-breathing dragon to which the modern West has become accustomed. The few scholars who have attempted to bring the dragon into the academic conversation have done so with limited perspectives and analyses, and have subsequently pigeonholed the dragon as either a pagan symbol or a Christian symbol. Why can't the dragon be both? In pursuing the origins and the symbolism of Beowulf’s dragon, it becomes clear that the dragon is not solely one or the other, but instead, is a masterful blending of the two cultures, and evidence of the Christian appropriation of pagan motifs to encourage the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons.

Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:20am - 9:40am PST
232 Karpen Hall

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