The Monsters And The Critics

862 WordsSep 20, 20154 Pages
In “The Monsters and the Critics” by J. R. R. Tolkien, the author analyzes and defeats the claims of various scholars’ conclusions to Beowulf. Tolkien zooms out from the view of other critics and analyzes the novel as whole in this article. The first point he makes concerns religious references in the poem. He distinguishes the “blending of Christian and Norse materials and traditions” as pieces that make up the story, and not historical information to support his argument of poetic artistry in Beowulf. By doing so, the author proves that the biblical and pagan allusions serves the greater deed of exposing readers to a better understanding of characters and occurrences, rather than depicting pieces of religious influences for historical investigations. Furthermore, the structure of Beowulf is “simple and static,” despite the varying subjects, such as the jump from Beowulf’s attributes to Sigemund’s (Tolkien). However, it remains to have ambiguous interpretations, thus explains is why the poem is meant to hold diverse understandings (Tolkien). In result of this structure, Tolkien clarifies that the reason for monsters in Beowulf to be intertwined with their presence in mythological works is because the mere characterization of Grendel is the artistic “potent creation of men’s imagination” (Tolkien). Through miscellaneous topics, commencing from religious distinction, to structure, and to the importance of monstrous creatures, Tolkien is able to justify his proclamation which
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