Theses and Dissertations
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Diana Dominguez
Dr. Javier Martinez
Dr. John Newman
Throughout the more than two centuries of scholarship on Beowulf scholars have engaged in a consistent controversy in interpretation revolving around the issue of Christian versus pre-Christian content in the poem. While scholars largely agree that the understanding of the poem depends on understanding this content, scholars still widely disagree on what that understanding should be. The history of this problem is summarized, moving from viewing the poem as primarily pre-Christian, to general agreement that it is primarily Christian, to the current climate of viewing the text as hybridization. The thesis then proposes that, following the theories of Michel Foucault and Gayatri Spivak, the poem is best understood when the presence of Christianity is seen as epistemic violence: the erasure of one episteme by the invasion of another episteme, as part of an exercise of social power.
Krippel, Joseph W., "Epistemic Violence in Beowulf" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 490.
Copyright 2018 Joseph W. Krippel. All Rights Reserved.