New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

CLA 322 3/15/16

by: Kenya

CLA 322 3/15/16 CLA 322 P


Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Notes for March 15, 2016
greek Mythology: Monsters
Han Tran
Class Notes
CLA 322, Monsters, beowulf, grendel, Norse, Epics
25 ?




Popular in greek Mythology: Monsters

Popular in Classical Studies

This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Wednesday March 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLA 322 P at University of Miami taught by Han Tran in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.

Similar to CLA 322 P at UM

Popular in Classical Studies


Reviews for CLA 322 3/15/16


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 03/16/16
CLA 322 3/15/16 Norse Monsters part 1 Reading: “Beowulf” But first Jewish Leviathan and Behemoth th Psalms 74: 13-14 (10-6 c. BCE) 13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: Thou brakest the heads of the sea-monsters in the waters. 14 Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces; Thou gavest him to be food to the people inhabiting the wilderness. Why Transition from Skylla and Charybdis to these two biblical monsters?  These two Greek monsters exist outside of the control of the Olympian order and therefore Zeus o No hero can conquer them, in fact Odysseus can only survive them, not defeat them Scylla is formidable because:  She represents the archetype of the untamed maiden (undomesticated virgin, free from marriage) Charybdis is formidable because:  She is a force of nature, nature that is not yet under the control of the Olympians (not even Poseidon However, these biblical monsters can not only be destroyed by the Judeo-Christian God, but was created by him. Why would he want to create these monsters in the first place?  KEEP IN MIND: This God is almighty (in that he has complete control, and can destroy these monsters and make them as food for these wild peoples. Leviathan: representative of all that is monstrous in the sea Description: Psalms 104.25-6 (10-6 c. BCE) 25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. 26 There go the ships; there is Leviathan, whom thou hast formed to play therein. Why create the leviathan? Isaiah (late 8 c. BCE): Prophetic prediction “1In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the swift serpent, and Leviathan the crooked serpent; and he will slay the monster that is in the sea.”  Just to show the extent of his power, he can create this monster and destroy it (he has great power therefore) Behemoth: representative of all that is monstrous on land Description: Job 40:15-24 15 “Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. 16 Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. 17 He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. 18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. 19 “He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword! 20 For the mountains yield food for him where all the wild beasts play. 21 Under the lotus plants he lies, in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh. 22 For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brook surround him. 23 Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth. 24 Can one take him by his eyes, or pierce his nose with a snare?  Created for the same reason as the leviathan, represents all that is monstrous on the land.  Verse 19: o One of the first things that God created in this world  Verse 24 o Piercing as a sign of subjugation What else is going on?  Keep in mind this creature is a product of God, also think about the Christian echidna o As soon as there is good in the world, there is evil, or good is defined in relation to what is evil. These monsters serve as markers for the evil they represent and the good that God brings (Behemoth top, Leviathan below) Moving on to Beowulf  Focus on Grendel and the dragon English Epic (medieval period), old English (Anglo-Saxon) language, though the setting in modern day Scandinavia. Beowulf (Hero) is from the land of the Geats) Starts off with our hero crossing over to the land of the Danes (shieldings) to help the, with this man eating monster Grendel. BACKSTORY: Why can’t they use their own heroes? Why do they need Beowulf?  They look at the chronology of the leaders of the Danes  Shield Sheafson1 St leader: Beowulf ll.4-11 “There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes, A wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes. This terror of the hall-troops had come far. A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on As his powers waxed and his worth was proved. In the end each clan on the outlying coasts Beyond the whale-road had to yield to him And begin to pay tribute. That was one good king.” We see description of a good king and a good hero: A good king is a good hero and a good hero is a good king  One who can spread terror amongst enemies  One who can overpower enemies Physically (think of comparing Beowulf and Herakles) Current ruler (at the time of our story) Hrothgar Shield Sheafson  Beow  Halfdane  Hrothgar “ The Details of this good king/warrior:  He is a successful warrior, with the loyalty of his troops  Builds a great hall (this is the most important element in this epic—as well as Norse beliefs) o Built as a statement, why is this important?  Representative of god on earth  The hall is called Heorot “…and awaiting a barbarous burning” The greatness of this hall goes hand in hand with its destruction. Statement of the hall:  Supposed to embody a symbol of strength and success of a warrior but also a sign of the doom and destruction that awaits all greatness (all great halls and the heroes that build them) External Grendel:  Lives in the marshes and the moors. Not part of this community  Stalks this cohesive community, which he threatens from the outside Described as some sort of spirit or Ghast  He has a prior grievance o His exile due to his lineage in Cain’s clan a race cursed by god and marked by Kin killing kin. o He is an enemy of god and goes against his order (as in the Christian god and order) So is he human?  Not quite: He’s never outright described but he is descended from the human Cain. However he is different because the monstrous deed of Cain metaphysically shaped Grendel into a deformed human  Cain (and Grendel) becomes something that goes against the goof o Good: a warrior like people, and a sense of community o Cain producer of other monsters (elves, ogres, giants, etc) Focus: (line 119 & 123):  Association with night time (as he only acts at night) o A predator (deceitful)  Grendel is inhuman o No sensitivity to human pain o Deeply embedded in morality (what is good and evil) Think about the Greeks: they were never concerned about their monsters morality. They were concerned about their physical and cultural differences, as in going against the order of Zeus. Our monsters reflect our values Grendel’s motives?  What are they singing about? o Creation (as in God is responsible). He is angry at the fact that this God is capable of doing these fantastic things, so he wants to destroy this world (created by God, whom he hates). Driven by an inherent maliciousness. “Some men just want to watch the world burn…”  Grendel is on the edge of our concept of monster o Either he was made by society to be this way or he was already born with the monstrous The King of the Danes seems helpless: Nor stop his death dealing nor pay the death price o He would stop killing, nor will he pay some sort of compensation for his deeds (Wergild) o He does not play by the rules of war, even enemies areexpected to have some sort of respect for life What can stop him? But the throne itself, the treasure seat, he was kept from approaching: he was the Lord’s outcast o The Lord can stop him, though he doesn’t do it personally in this story o God’s power is manifested in the kings throne  The king is a sort of “son of God” or a chosen one by God  The earthly representative of the will of God and is meant to defend his cause o However, the king and his subjects lack god’s perfection  They don’t know how to turn to their God for help They forgot about the Christian God in their hour of despair (they could only remember their old/heathen idols and gods)  Interesting: This God is not a killer, he is a judge o He doesn’t need to kill, because his greater power is in being able to judge your actions, which can be done at a distance o Their troubles continue because they are blind to the Christian god Therefore the solution cannot be found in these native Danes, because they lost their way. They have to turn to a foreigner. Beowulf comes from across the sea o The sea (in this context) carries an image of renewal. Beowulf is bringing a fresh perspective  Beowulf is known to the Danes, his family and Hrothgar’s family have an old friendship How does Beowulf conceive of his confrontation with Grendel?  Renounces the weapons that make him civilized. Is that a good thing?  Beowulf is trusting in the judgement of this God (higher authority)  He has no fear, but he leave the outcome in the hands of God


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Jennifer McGill UCSF Med School

"Selling my MCAT study guides and notes has been a great source of side revenue while I'm in school. Some months I'm making over $500! Plus, it makes me happy knowing that I'm helping future med students with their MCAT."

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.