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ENRICH-0232 – Lit: Beowulf (ENRICH-0232_WULF)

Dusting Off the Classics: Beowulf

"Beowulf is Back!" The Atlantic boldly announced in its April 2017 issue. This Old English poem from the first millennium has mostly been relegated to the back benches of English literature since its rediscovery some 300 years ago. So why the popularity today? Join former Columbia University English and Classics Professor Richard Sacks as he examines the dark landscapes of this astonishing poem, which follows the 50-plus-year career of the Geatish hero Beowulf as he strives to do what is right despite the monstrous forces of the world in which he lives. There are the (in)famous literal monsters that Beowulf is able to destroy—Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a dragon guarding the ancient treasures of our earth. But where is the line between human and monster in such struggles? There are the monsters of history and politics Beowulf faces, ancient tribal hatreds and resentments among Swedes, Danes, Beowulf's Geats and others. But can such tribal monsters of our world ever be tamed? And lurking just below the surface of the poem, there are also the monsters related to, yet at odds with, the gods—the serpent that destroys Thor and the wolf that destroys Woden. But can we prevent such self-destructive and world-ending battles from reenacting themselves in our souls and societies? Wrestle with these ancient yet contemporary questions as you read this remarkable poem and discover for yourself why Beowulf is "back!"

Five sessions
Thur., 6:30-8:30 pm, Mar. 21, 28, Apr. 4, 11, 18, 2019
Location: Room 287, Sturm Hall, DU campus


Richard Sacks taught ancient and medieval literature, mythology and linguistics at Columbia University for nearly 40 years. He also participated in Columbia's well-known Core Curriculum, teaching its great books course and giving lectures to faculty on the challenges of teaching texts ranging from The Iliad and The Odyssey to biblical narratives such as Genesis and the Gospels.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: In-personPlaces Left: 24Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $185

Sessions

Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Thursday21st March 201918th April 201906:30PM - 08:30PMSturm HallRichard Sacks