Beowulf and Campbell

This last week I finished up a presentation on examining Beowulf and The Aeneid using Joseph Campbell’s monomyth from The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

That was good because I had to give it on Saturday!

It went very well.

I had about 30 people attend, which was far more than I was expecting.

I ended up creating a very elaborate powerpoint presentation (with 73 slides) and using that to speak for about an hour. The audience was incredibly attentive and took notes… There wasn’t any restlessness or talking. Amazing! Especially for a Saturday morning slot.

Several people came up later and told me they really enjoyed/appreciated it. One gentleman, whose retirement goal is to read all the classics (He just finished Great Expectations.), came to the workshop just to hear my presentation. He came up afterwards and said that if I teach as well as I gave that presentation, I must be an amazing teacher.

Unfortunately, I am not sure that I teach as well as I gave that presentation! Of course, usually I don’t need a 73-slide ppt. So maybe that’s good. Or maybe he was just saying that I presented it well. I do think I do THAT well as an instructor…

I was going to say I don’t spend as much time on my class preps, but really I do. It’s just over a longer period. So I’ve been teaching freshman composition for 17 years. Each year I revise some section of the class pretty substantially.

And I continue to revise my Brit lit class, too. For example, when I first decided to teach Gulliver’s Travels in my British Literature course, I spent over 80 hours doing prep work for that. –I kept track because I was trying to figure out how long it took me to prep for a totally new work.

Overall I think the presentation went very well. I was thrilled with the audience and their participation. I thought I did a good job.

Now I need to get cracking on cleaning it up and turning it into a chapter for a book. (The abstract has been accepted and I have actually written about five pages, but there is quite a bit more that needs to be done.)

The first image is from the Uogallery; the second image is from; and the third image is in the public domain, was created by Lynd Ward and published in Leonard’s Beowulf, and was found on the net at Heorot.

One thought on “Beowulf and Campbell”

  1. Hello! I was surfing the internet, trying to get inspired for my English Literature final exam, and found your website. I´m studying “Literature and Lingüistics” at USAL, a well-known university from Argentina (actually, the career name is “Letras”). Your work sounds really interesting! Is there any chance I could give it a read and maybe use it as bibliography? Please email me so I can give you more details about it! Thanks for your time!

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