The discourse on the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf is marked by an almost complete lack of consensus on theme and content of the work, with assertions and their contradictory opposites both derived alike from scholarly study of the text and its context. This book presents the ambiguities of Beowulf as inherent and systematic features of the text that are of central significance for an interpretation of the work. It attempts to show that ambiguous passages and ambivalent structures should not be resolved by favoring one reading and rejecting another; instead, the very fact of the occurrence of ambiguities should become subject to interpretation. In addition, the individual meanings involved should not be considered in isolation but in their interaction.
Publisher: University Press of America