Giuliano Marmora M.A. (University of Trento/University of Augsburg)

Project Overview - The Portrait of the Hero Through Materiality in Beowolf and its Retellings

Retellings of Old English Literature, and Beowulf in particular, recently achieved widespread popularity among non-specialist readers and have been the object of scholarly investigation, approached through different methodologies and perspectives. Research in Medievalism, however, devoted no space to the study of objects in Beowulf retellings, notwithstanding their significant function in the characterization of the Anglo-Saxon hero.[1]

This research project investigates how authors in the 21st century transpose the treasure, the sword, and the armour in their fantastic and (pseudo)historical novels, with a focus on how these items relate to the hero and his characterization. Identifying what the Manipulation School has broadly defined as “invariants”, semantic features that both the hypotext and the hypertexts share, allows us to discern variations that authors introduced. Through the analysis of invariants and variations, the research explores the common ideological ground underlying these novels and investigates changes in heroic culture that are employed to recast the Anglo-Saxon hero in the 21st century.



I am aware of the debate on the word “Anglo-Saxon” and its current (ab)use. Nonetheless, I adopt the term when referring to national, historical, or cultural matters, with no ideological implication whatsoever. I adopt the term Old English for the language and the literature written in that specific language.


Presentations and Publications

Marmora, Giuliano. Il mito di Beowulf. Risonanze antiche e moderne. Rome, 2021. [the Myth of Beowulf. Ancient and Modern Resonances]


Marmora, Giuliano. "'That was an innocent child'. Unearthing the voice of the defeated in S. S. Morrison’s Grendel’s Mother", Risonanze III. La memoria dei testi dal Medioevo a oggi,edited by Carmela Giordano, Ligouri, 2020, pp. 169- 184.


Marmora, Giuliano. "Ofer hronrade: 'al di là del mare, la via delle balene'. Questioni sulla traduzione del Beowulf in prosa italiana". Open Journal of Humanities, vol. 2, 2019, pp. 41-74. [Ofer hronrade:‘al di là del mare, la via delle balene’. On the matter of translating Beowulf into Italian prose]




“'Stay with me, my dear. This is man’s business'. The voice of the defeated in Morrison’s Grendel’s Mother."  Risonanze III. La memoria dei testi dal Medioevo a oggi, 23-24/01/2020, Naples, University of Naples "L'Orientale."


[Keynote] "Vae Victis! The scop as the forger of the truth in Beowulf retellings. Graduate Symposium: Beowulf and Beyond. An early medieval poem and its modern adaptation, 20/01/2023, Leiden, Leiden University.

Contact Giuliano Marmora M.A.