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2016 | 49 | 69-77
Article title

Free subjects: kingship, "comitatus" and loyalty in "Beowulf" through the lens of Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology

Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
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.
Year
Issue
49
Pages
69-77
Physical description
Contributors
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski
References
  • Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses: Notes Towards an Investigation.” Essays on Ideology. London: Verso, 1984. 1–60.
  • Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Ed. Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969.
  • Beowulf. Anglo-Saxon Poetry: Everyman’s Library. Trans. and ed. S. A. J. Bradley. London: Orion, 1995. 408–494.
  • Chaney, William A. “Paganism to Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England.” The Harvard Theological Review 53.3 (1960): 197–217. Web. 19 April 2015.
  • Donoghue, Daniel. Old English Literature: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
  • Hill, John M. “Social Milieu.” A Beowulf Handbook. Ed. Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998. 255–270.
  • Irving Jr., Edward B. “Christian and Pagan Elements.” A Beowulf Handbook. Ed.Robert E. Bjork and John D. Niles. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998. 175–192.
  • Jones, Gwyn. Kings Beasts and Heroes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.
  • Klaeber, Friedrich. Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg. 3rd ed. Lexington: Heath, 1950.
  • Langman, Lauren. “From Subject to Citizen to Consumer: Embodiment and the Mediation of Hegemony.” Politics of Selfhood: Bodies and Identities in Global Capitalism. Ed. R. H. Brown. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. 167–188. Web. 19 April 2015.
  • O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine. “Heroic Values and Christian Ethics.” The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature. Ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 107–125.
  • Parker, Mary A. Beowulf and Christianity. American University Studies: English Language and Literature 4. New York: Peter Lang, 1987.
  • The NET Bible: New English Translation. Ed. W. Hall Harris. Richardson, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 2007.
  • Wormald, Patrick. “Anglo-Saxon Society and its Literature.” The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature. Ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 1–22.
  • Yorke, Barbara. The Conversion of Britain: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain c.600-800. Religion, Politics and Society in Britain Series. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2006.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-dc500bb2-b350-433f-b03e-631b8ebf72a1
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