Free subjects: kingship, "comitatus" and loyalty in "Beowulf" through the lens of Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology
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The article deals with the concepts of kingship, "comitatus" and loyalty as depicted in the Old English poem “Beowulf” and how these concepts of the Anglo-Saxon era were changing in favour of Christian God. The article also shows how this change was not completed fully and suggests that the perceived instability is caused by incomplete subjection of the Anglo-Saxons to Christian conventions. That is where free subjectivity can be found and that is also the main thesis of the paper. The article first offers a short analysis of Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology and proposes several reasons why and historical pieces of evidence that Althusser’s theory is applicable for the medieval period. The article then analyses “Beowulf” and provides some historical information to explain the above mentioned concepts in the Anglo-Saxon era.
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