The God King and the Selra Hero: Distribution of Territory and its Significance for Kingship in Beowulf
Honorable Mention winner of the Friends of Fondren Library Undergraduate Research Awards, 2015
In this essay, I close read chosen lines in the Anglo Saxon poem Beowulf to demonstrate how Old English formulaic expression and hyperbole are used to delineate territory between the hero Beowulf and the King Hrothgar. I argue that hyperbole grants all known territory to Beowulf, and as a result this weakens the Old English formulaic expression typically used to assert power. However, I conclude by arguing how this possession of territory changes after Beowulf himself becomes king.