Tolkien Monsters and Critics PDF

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Tolkien Monsters and Critics
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Tolkien Monsters and Critics

Dear readers, here we are providing Tolkien Monsters and Critics PDF to all of you. It is also known as Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics is a 1936 lecture given by J. R. R. Tolkien on literary criticism on the Old English heroic epic poem Beowulf. It is liked by 87% of Google users.

J. R. R. Tolkien was a famous English writer, poet, philologist, and academic. His full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. He was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He has gained huge popularity from his fantasy writings. He died on 2 September 1973 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

Tolkien Monsters and Critics PDF

IN 1864 the Reverend Oswald Cockayne wrote of the Reverend Doctor Joseph Bosworth, Rawlinsonian Professor of Anglo-Saxon: ‘I have tried to lend to others the conviction I have long entertained that Dr. Bosworth is not a man so diligent in his special walk as duly to read the books … which have been printed in our old English or so-called Anglosaxon tongue.

He may do very well for a professor.’1  These words were inspired by dissatisfaction with Bosworth’s dictionary and were doubtless unfair. If Bosworth were still alive, a modern Cockayne would probably accuse him of not reading the ‘literature’ of his subject, the books written about the books in the so-called Anglo-Saxon tongue. The original books are nearly buried. Of none is this so true as of The Beowulf, as it used to be called.

I have, of course, read The Beowulf, as have most (but not all) of those who have criticized it. But I fear that unworthy successor and beneficiary of Joseph Bosworth, I have not been a man so diligent in my special walk as duly to read all that has been printed on, or touching on, this poem. But I have read enough, I think, to venture the opinion that Beowulfiana is, while rich in many departments, especially poor in one.

It is poor in criticism, criticism that is directed to the understanding of a poem as a poem. It has been said of Beowulf itself that its weakness lies in placing the unimportant things at the centre and the important on the outer edges. This is one of the opinions that I wish specially to consider. I think it profoundly untrue of the poem, but strikingly true of the literature about it.

Beowulf has been used as a quarry of fact and fancy far more assiduously than it has been studied as a work of art. It is of Beowulf, then, as a poem that I wish to speak; and though it may seem presumption that I should try with swich a lewed mannes wit to pace the wisdom of an heep of lerned men, in this department there is at least more chance for the lewed man.

But there is so much that might still be said even under these limitations that I shall confine myself mainly to the monsters—Grendel and the Dragon, as they appear in what seems to me the best and most authoritative general criticism in English—and to certain considerations of the structure and conduct of the poem that arise from this theme. There is an historical explanation of the state of Beowulfiana that I have referred to. And that explanation is important, if one would venture to criticize the critics.

A sketch of the history of the subject is required. But I will here only attempt, for brevity’s sake, to present my view of it allegorically. As it set out upon its adventures among the modern scholars, Beowulf was christened by Wanley Poesis—Poeseos Anglo’Saxonicæ egregium exemplum. But the fairy godmother later invited to superintend its fortunes was Historia. And she brought with her Philologia, Mythologia, Archaeologia, and Laographia.2  Excellent ladies.

But where was the child’s name-sake? Poesis was usually forgotten; occasionally admitted by a side-door; sometimes dismissed upon the door-step. ‘The Beowulf’, they said, ‘is hardly an affair of yours, and not in any case a protégé that you could be proud of. It is an historical document. Only as such does it interest the superior culture of to-day.’ And it is as an historical document that it has mainly been examined and dissected.

Though ideas as to the nature and quality of the history and information embedded in it have changed much since Thorkelin called it De Danorum Rebus Gesfis, this has remained steadily true. In still recent pronouncements this view is explicit. In 1925 Professor Archibald Strong translated Beowulf into verse;3  but in 1921 he had declared: ‘Beowulf is the picture of a whole civilization, of the Germania which Tacitus describes. The main interest which the poem has for us is thus not a purely literary interest. Beowulf is an important historical document.

About the Author of Tolkien Monsters and Critics PDF

Born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
3 January 1892
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
Died 2 September 1973 (aged 81)
Bournemouth, Hampshire, England
Occupation
  • Author
  • academic
  • philologist
  • poet
Nationality English
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford
Genre
  • Fantasy
  • high fantasy
  • mythopoeia
  • translation
  • literary criticism
Notable works
  • The Hobbit
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Silmarillion
  • Unfinished Tales
Spouse
Edith Bratt (m. 1916d. 1971)
Children
  • John Francis (1917–2003)
  • Michael Hilary (1920–1984)
  • Christopher John (1924–2020)
  • Priscilla Anne (1929–2022)

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