Skip to main content

Seminar in Literary Interpretation

Beowulf & Grendel


Beowulf deals with themes of heroism, violence, and loss while relating the story of the hero’s life and his battles against three monsters. The course will involve close readings of Beowulf, paying special attention to the notion of the monster and the monstrous in the poem. The latter part of the course will deal with the novel Grendel by John Gardner, which makes Grendel into the hero of the story. We will also examine other re-workings of Beowulf in film or print, depending on class preferences. Beowulf will be read in a facing page translation, allowing the class to look at the original Old English while doing close readings of the poem.

Classes will consist of class discussion, close reading, and lectures


The assessments will consist of:

  • Class participation
  • Oral presentation
  • Research report
  • Short Exercise on translation
  • Essay
  • Exam


  • ENGL 100
  • Registration in an English Major or Joint Honours plan

Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153



Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.