Date: 27 Jul 2010
“Eldum Unnyt”: Treasure Spaces in Beowulf
- Cameron Hunt McNabb
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Treasure spaces in Beowulf serve as structural and thematic touchstones for Beowulf’s fights with the Grendelkin and the dragon, and the locations of these fights—the mere, the barrow, and Heorot—are linked within the poem by their shared tomb-like structure and precious internal content. These three central locations are framed by two other treasure spaces in the poem—Scyld’s ship burial and Beowulf’s burial—at the beginning and end respectively, which also mirror the fight locations in structure and contents. Examined together, the parallels between these five enclosures create striking connections between their occupants: the Grendelkin, the dragon, Hrothgar, Scyld, and ultimately Beowulf. These parallels also attest thematically to the poem’s overarching discussion on the transitory nature of material wealth, creating a network of associations between the spaces and their inhabitants. This framework complicates the veneration of the human heroes and demonstrates that the accumulation of earthly goods is ultimately as useless to a hero as to a monster.
Abram, C. (2010). New light on the illumination of Grendel’s mere. JEGP, 109(2), 198–216.
Alexander, M. (Trans.) (1991). The Seafarer. The earliest english poems, 3rd ed. London: Penguin.
Anderson, E. R. (1972). A submerged metaphor in the Scyld episode. The Yearbook of English Studies, 2, 1–4.CrossRef
Andrew, M. (1981). Grendel in hell. English Studies, 62(5), 401–410.CrossRef
Boenig, R. (2002). Scyld’s Burial Mound. ELN, 40(1), 1–13.
Bosworth, J. (1898–1921). An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Based on the Manuscript Collections of the Late Joseph Bosworth. Ed. and enlarged by T. Northcote Toller. Oxford: Clarendon Press. http://beowulf.engl.uky.edu/~kiernan/BT/bosworth.htm. Accessed 28 July 2009.
Butts, R. (1987). The analogical mere: Landscape and terror in Beowulf. English Studies, 68(2), 113–121.CrossRef
Clark, D. (2006). Relauching the hero: The case of Scyld and Beowulf re-opened. Neophilologus, 90, 621–642.CrossRef
Davidson, H. R. E. (1950). The hill of the dragon: Anglo-Saxon burial mounds in literature and archeology. Folklore, 61(4), 169–185.
DeGregorio, S. (1999). Theorizing irony in Beowulf: The Case of Hrothgar. Exemplaria, 11, 309–343.
Dictionary of Old English: A to G Online. (2007). Dictionary of Old English: A to G Online. In Angus Cameron, Ashley Crandell Amos, Antonette diPaolo Healey, et al. (Eds.) Dictionary of Old English: A to G Online. http://tapor.library.utoronto.ca/doe/dict/index.html. Accessed 28 July 2009.
Dobbie, E. V. K. (1942). The Anglo-Saxon minor poems. Anglo-Saxon poetic records 6. NY: Columbia UP.
Earl, J. W. (1979). The necessity of evil in Beowulf. South Atlantic Bulletin, 44(1), 81–98.CrossRef
Earl, J. W. (1994). Thinking about Beowulf. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Finnegan, R. E. (1978). Beowulf at the mere (and elsewhere). Mosaic, 11(4), 45–54.
Fulk, R. D., Bjork, R. E., & Niles, J. D. (Eds.) (2008). Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, 4th ed. Toronto: Uuniversity of Toronto Press.
Gardner, J. (1975). Guilt and the world’s complexity: The murder of Ongentheow and the slaying of the dragon. In L. E. Nicholson & D. W. Frese (Eds.), Anglo-Saxon poetry: Essays in appreciation For John C. McGalliard (pp. 14–22). Notre Dame: Notre Dame Press.
Grinsell, L. V. (1967). Barrow treasure, in fact, tradition, and legislation. Folklore, 78(1), 1–38.
Hill, J. M. (1991). Hrothgar’s noble rule. In R. Samson (Ed.), Social approaches to Viking studies (pp. 169–178). Glasgow: Cruithne Press.
Hill, J. M. (1994). The cultural world in Beowulf. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Hill, J. M. (2008). The narrative pulse in Beowulf. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Howe, N. (1989). Beowulf and the ancestral homeland. In migration and mythmaking in Anglo-Saxon England (pp. 143–180). New Haven: Yale University Press.
King, J. (2003). Relaunching the hero: The case of Scyld and Beowulf. Neophilologus, 87, 453–471.CrossRef
Krapp, G., Philip, E., & Dobbie, V. K. (Eds.). (1936). The Exeter book. Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 3. NY: Columbia UP.
Lee, A. (1998). Gold-hall and earth-dragon: Beowulf as metaphor. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Liuzza, R. M. (Trans.) (2000). Beowulf. Ontario: Broadview P.
Malone, K. (1958). Grendel and his abode. In A. G. Hatcher & K. L. Selig (Eds.), Studia Philologica et Litteraria in Honorem L. Spitzer (pp. 297–308). Bern: Satz und Druck.
Morris, R. (1880). The Blickling homilies of the 10th century. London: EETS OS 58, 63, 73. London: Oxford UP.
Niles, J. D. (1983). Beowulf: The poem and its tradition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Orchard, A. (1995). Pride and prodigies: Studies in the monsters of the Beowulf-manuscript. Rochester, NY: D. S. Brewer.
Orchard, A. (2003). A critical companion to Beowulf. Cambridge: Brewer.
Owen-Crocker, G. R. (2000). The four funerals in Beowulf: And the structure of the poem. NY: St. Martin’s P.
Robinson, F. C. (1993). The tomb of Beowulf. In The tomb of Beowulf and other essays (pp. 3–17). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Siewers, A. K. (2006). Beowulf and the origins of civilization. In E. A. Joy & M. K. Ramsey (Eds.), The postmodern Beowulf: A critical casebook (pp. 199–258). West Virginia UP: Morgantown.
Simpson, J. A., & Weiner, E. S. C., (1989). Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. http://dictionary.oed.com/.
Taylor, P. B. (1997). The dragon’s treasure in Beowulf. NM, 98, 229–240.
Tripp, R. P. Jr. (1977). The exemplary role of Hrothgar and Heorot. PQ, 56, 123–129.
- “Eldum Unnyt”: Treasure Spaces in Beowulf
Volume 95, Issue 1 , pp 145-164
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Author Affiliations
- 1. University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CPR107, Tampa, FL, 33620, USA