1st Edition

Beowulf's Popular Afterlife in Literature, Comic Books, and Film

By Kathleen Forni Copyright 2018
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    Beowulf's presence on the popular cultural radar has increased in the past two decades, coincident with cultural crisis and change. Why? By way of a fusion of cultural studies, adaptation theory, and monster theory, Beowulf's Popular Afterlife examines a wide range of Anglo-American retellings and appropriations found in literary texts, comic books, and film. The most remarkable feature of popular adaptations of the poem is that its monsters, frequently victims of organized militarism, male aggression, or social injustice, are provided with strong motives for their retaliatory brutality. Popular adaptations invert the heroic ideology of the poem, and monsters are not only created by powerful men but are projections of their own pathological behavior. At the same time there is no question that the monsters created by human malfeasance must be eradicated.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter One Introduction: Why Beowulf?

    Chapter Two Beowulf's Monsters


    Chapter Three Adult Fiction

    Chapter Four Beowulf for Kids

    Chapter Five Comic Books

    Chapter Six Film and T.V.

    Chapter Seven Appropriations Across Genres and Media

    Chapter Eight Conclusion, or, The Monsters are the Critics




    Kathleen Forni is a Professor in the English Department at Loyola University Maryland. Her previous publications include, in addition to a number of journal articles, three books examining the formation of Chaucer's canon and Chaucer's twentieth-century reception.