John Leyerle, Jane Chance, And J.r. R. Tolkien

1422 WordsMar 3, 20176 Pages
John Leyerle, Jane Chance, and J.R.R. Tolkien all offer different and valuable insight to their respective depictions of Beowulf’s structure. While Chance and Tolkien are accurate in terms of the representation of the monsters and historical references in Beowulf, Leyerle’s argument offers a more inclusive and whole depiction of Beowulf’s structure. Leyerle describes the structure of Beowulf as interlacing. Leyerle’s essay is more cogent than Chance’s and Tolkien’s through the definition of interlace, the significance of digressions, and historical allusions presented in the poem. Leyerle presents Beowulf’s structure as the interlace structure because, during the Anglo-Saxon period, interlace designs were common in art. Basically, the…show more content…
Also, he goes on to say that these parallels are seen in Beowulf as part of its interlace structure. The parallels in Beowulf are historical in which they compare the past and the story that is the present. Examples Leyerle provides are the stories sang by the scop. Leyerle uses the story of the kings: Sigemund and Heremod to show an example of parallels. Beowulf’s poet implements this parallel by stating that “After his death / Sigemund’s glory grew and grew / because of his courage when he killed the dragon, / the guardian of the hoard” (884-886). Sigemund’s story which is set in the past is a parallel to Beowulf, the present because later in the poem, Beowulf is king and he fights a dragon who guards a hoard of treasure. Heremod’s story holds a negative parallel while Sigemund’s story is positive. Heremod is described as a king overruled by pride and greed in which he kills his own people. Heremod’s pride parallels Beowulf’s fatal flaw which is also pride and that it caused his downfall. Heremod also leaves his remaining people to doom and suffer the consequences of his actions. Beowulf mirrors this action through his death by leaving the Geats to face “national calamity” (Leyerle 146). The use of parallelism is essential to the interlace design both as a style and as a structure. Leyerle explains one of the

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