Tolkien’s alliterative styles in The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

— Anna Smol, Professor of English, Mount Saint Vincent University

Paper given 8 July 2021 at J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval roots and Modern branches

Tolkien’s alliterative verse drama The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth” has medieval roots in that Tolkien uses an Old English style of alliterative metre and alludes to the events recounted in the early medieval poem, The Battle of Maldon,” but he also brings alliterative poetry into the twentieth century in order to present something new to modern readers and scholars. Tolkien advocates for the use of alliterative metre by modern poets. In his verse drama, he demonstrates the potential of alliterative verse in modern poetry by creating distinct characters with different styles of speech and different attitudes to illustrate the tensions between medieval idealization of heroism and modern critiques of the waste of war. But more than that, The Homecoming” is an impressive achievement of original alliterative art by a modern poet.

Authoritative information may be found here.

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source URL 🌐Institute for Medieval Studies - Faculty of Arts - University of Leeds
date recorded 📅2021-07-24
scribe 🖋worblehat