Ronald Ganze, U of South Dakota, “Conceptual Blending and Beowulf“
Retrieving the Medieval Self, 2012
This is a live blogging of the session.
Daily cognition, double stoke
Two things conflated into one.
A-S Turner provides this on “The Dream of the Rood”
sinful humanity with sinless Christ, Cross with a thane’s life
“It [Dream of Rood] offers a complicated blend” –Turner
Though somewhat lacking to the traditions, it is in keeping with the standard understanding of the poem’s purposes.
Those poems which are allied with Christian structure are most successful.
Values of roles
Blend integrates the frame in the simplest way. Cannot have two things which are incompatible blended.
Grendel, Cain- Grendel’s ancestry and Cain and Cain’s descendants
blended Cain’s descendants become Grendel
Cain and the devil
NT references “Cain is mentioned in Heb. 11:4 and 2 other places.
Cain and the devil. I John 3:12
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
Making Cain Grendel’s ancestor can be argued not to be enough to count of conceptual blending.
But it is familial conceptual blending.
I would call it grafting…
Don’t see how it shows anything relevant.
(So why discuss?)
1. spoken by poet 2. spoken by characters
Spoken by Poet:
posthumous Christian discussion
closely follows Friendze Robinson (sp?)
intial reference to father
poet reminds the audience of God of Christianity, despite the characters cannot understand this… (Why not?)
Why do they not have a possibility of a blended space? Why could the characters not have known about Christianity?
James Earl of Scyld’s funeral
“vague references to God… avoids explicity Christianity”
making the ocean symbolically significant to the flood
melting of the ancient sword
juxtaposes Christian and character’s views.
I don’t think they are Christian.
Similar to Robinson.
Poet takes advantage of OE words that were later signified in Christianity.
original audience would have understood the characters were pagan
I believe Robinson to be correct.
melting of the ancient sword- poet
Beowulf when he relates his fight to Hrothgar
“meet, measure out” or God (same word)