Secrecy and the Hermeneutic Potential in Beowulf

  title={Secrecy and the Hermeneutic Potential in Beowulf},
  author={Benjamin A. Saltzman},
  journal={PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America},
  pages={36 - 55}
  • Benjamin A. Saltzman
  • Published 1 January 2018
  • Art, Linguistics
  • PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America
Beowulf confronts the limits of knowledge in various forms: the unknowability of death, the secretive behavior of the poem's monsters, the epistemological distance of the past, and our inevitably fragmentary understanding of the poem itself. In the process, the poem also tells us something important about the methods and possibilities that it imagines for the work of discovery and literary interpretation more broadly. Scholars commonly address the poem as a text whose secrets need uncovering… 
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