Date of Award

Fall 12-22-2015

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis




Dr. Joseph McGowan


This project, devoted to the Old English epic fragment Judith, argues that the title character arises from the complex multicultural forces that shaped Anglo-Saxon society, positing that she exists between the mythological, the heroic and the Christian. Simultaneously Christian saint, Germanic warrior and pagan demi-goddess or supernatural figure, Judith arbitrates amongst the seemingly incompatible forces that shaped the poet’s world, allowing the poem to serve as an important site for the making of a new Anglo-Saxon mythos, one which incorporates these disparate yet co-existing elements. Judith becomes a single figure who is able to reconcile these opposing forces within herself, doing important cultural and spiritual work for the world for which the poem was written. In addition, the project involved a full, original translation of the 350 line text of Judith from Old English to Modern English.