Checkpoint #1


Judith

Checkpoint #2


Judith is an Old English poem in the manuscript alongside Beowulf. The author of Judith remains unknown. The story is quite religious and depicts Judith as the main character. Judith was described as “brilliant” and “radiant” (n.a., 118), meaning was beyond beautiful. The story also depicts Judith as extremely “wise” and “holy” (n.a., 119). Judith becomes a female heroin in the story because her actions were to save her people in the name of God. She wanted to rid her people of Holofernes power over the Hebrew people. Holofernes was the leader of the Assyrian army and they were oppressing and killing the Hebrews. Holofernes was an “evil doer…[and] a cruel prince, oppressing men…” (n.a., 119). Judith’s goal was essentially to save her people. She devises a plan to get into Holofernes room and decapitate him. He was a murderer and a warlord. Holofernes was evil, whereas Judith was the epitome of holiness. She believed that God sent her to save his people and that her actions were justified because she asked for God's permission. She was killing an evil man, a man how leaded the Assyrians to kill the Hebrew people. Judith left the Assyrians leaderless and they were ultimately defeated. Judith committed those actions under God and in order to save the Hebrews from being killed, and through this story she remains in her status as a female heroine.


1.“Source of all, great God on hight, and Spirit of holy help, Son of the Almighty: mercy I need now, Trinitarian strength! Intensely now is my heart inflamed: Lord, fierce sorrow oppresses my soul. Prince of heaven: give triumph and true belief; let me take this sword and cleave this murder-monger! Mankind’s Ruler, grant me health and grace: I’ve never had greater need for your mercy before. Almighty Lord, bright-minded Glory-Giver, grant me vengeance; let my mind’s fury inflame my heart!” (n.a., 120).
  • This is the part in the story when Judith prays to God. Judith is asking for Gods permission for her to behead Holofernes. This quote shows how religious Judith was because she praises God. She praises him and calls upon his good graces to grant her the power and strength to kill Holofernes. This quote puts emphasis on the fact that followers of God can ask for his help and trust in his word if they truly believed in him. I chose this quote because the middle ages and medieval times were extremely religious. Many stories and figures in the middle ages ask God for strength in order to conquer in his name. Readers question that fact that Judith commits an unholy act by beheading Holofernes but because she asked for Gods permission, it was acceptable. Judith acts were justified because she was slaying a horrible man, a man who lived and enjoyed killing innocent people. Judith not only wanted to kill Holofernes because of his murderous ways but also because he and the Assyrians were killing her people, the Hebrew people. Judith asks God for her to be able to kill such a terrible human, Holofernes, due to her love and brief in God.

2. “…Holofernes now lies lifeless. Our most loathsome foe, who committed more murder than any man on earth, caused us grievous pain and had plotted more grief than before, but God refused him longer life— didn’t let him commit more atrocity: for I took his life with the help of God.” (n.a., 122).
  • This quote depicts that part in the story when Judith tells the Hebrew people that Holofernes was dead. The town was ecstatic because they no longer had to fear for their lives. I enjoyed this quote because it was as if Judith could now take a sigh of relief. She again states how horrible and murderous Holofernes was and how she killed him with and in the name of God. This quote shows too parallels as well, Judith, who was the definition of holy and Holofernes, who was described as evil several times throughout the story. Holofernes was evil and she was holy meaning that she had to rid her people with evil doers and evil acts because she believed in God which meant she could not see evil being done and not step in to help. She explains how because she killed him in the name of God, Holofernes could not longer hurt or commit any more horrible acts ever again. She states that Holofernes caused immense grief and now that he was gone the Hebrew people could relax and rejoice in God and Judith who put an end to evil once and for all. Judith's faith and love of God gave her the power to kill evil and spread good to the Hebrew people.

3. “And Judith devoted it all to the glorious God of high hosts who’d given her honor on earth, renown in the worldly realm, with reward in heaven to come, triumph in splendor on high, thanks to her true belief, her faith in the Almighty forever.” (n.a., 126).
  • This quote shows how Judith’s faith and belief in God gave her the strength and reward into heaven. Judith used her faith in God to realize that Holofernes was oppressing and killing the Hebrew people. God’s word helped Judith understand she had to kill Holofernes in order to save her people and she needed God’s help and faith for her to accomplish this goal. This quote shows how she was a true follower of God and the fact that she had faith in him granted her entrance into heaven. Judith was faithful and thanks to her belief she ended up saving numerous people as well as staying true to God. Her faith was strong and because she followed in the Lords footsteps she was granted the power to overcome evil.

Black, Joseph, et al, eds. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Medieval Period, Volume 1. 3rd ed.Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2015. Print.

Lucas, Peter J. “Judith” and the Woman Hero. The Yearbook of English Studies. Vol.22 (1992): 17-27. JSTOR. Web 11 Oct. 2017.
  • Peter J. Lucas discusses the role of Judith and how she was inaccurately depicted during the translation process. Peter believes that Judith’s attributes in the story were somehow depicted as weaknesses, however, he believed she transcended those interpretations. He focuses mainly on the themes that show Judith being a female hero. Peter compares the biblical translation and the old english translation of Judith, as well as clarifying different facts of Judith and her heroic acts throughout the story.

Milligan, Gerry. Unlikely Heroines in Lucrezia Tornabuoni’s “Judith” and “Esther”. Italica 88.4 (2011): 538-564. JSTOR. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.
  • Gerry Milligan discusses how the woman Lucrezia Tornabuoni depicts woman hero’s in the stories Judith and Esther. Milligan describes how both of these woman are Hebrew and by their faith in God, accomplish something heroic for their people. Milligan also focuses on the translation of the biblical version of Judith as well as Tornabuoni’s translation. He compares the two translations and uses different examples to depict how Judith was an exemplary female hero.

Sawyer, Deborah F. Dressing Up/Dressing Down: Power, Performance and Identity in the book of Judith. Feminist Theology (2001): 23-31. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.
  • Deborah F. Sawyer focuses on the story Judith as an example of power and gender. She explains how Judith’s actions in an ancient world was a strong expression of gender identity. Deborah further explains how Judith used her feminine gender in order to get Holofernes alone and ultimately kill him. She states that Judith uses power, performance and identity to become the famine hero in the end of the story.

Checkpoint #3



Brenner, Athalya (ed.) A Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna. Sheffield Academic Press (1995). Web. 7 Nov. 2017.
    • (Found in Bibliography of Sawyer, Deborah F. ‍“Dressing Up/Dressing Down: Power, Performance and Identity in the book of Judith.”‍ Feminist Theology (2001): 23-31. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.)
  • In the initial article Sawyer focuses on the story Judith as an example of power and gender. She explains how Judith’s actions in an ancient world was a strong expression of gender identity. Deborah further explains how Judith used her feminine gender in order to get Holofernes alone and ultimately kill him. She states that Judith uses power, performance and identity to become the ‍feminine ‍hero in the end of the story‍.‍ Similarly, Brenner uses Judith as “a classic metaphor both for the nation and for all women” (Brenner, 210). She explains how Judith, as well as other female heroes, use initiative. The female heroes plan everything out strategically, unlike male heroes, who seem to act irrationally. Brenner examines how Judith serves the Lord, she not only depicts heroism but also holiness. Judith is the ultimate example of a female hero, she serves the Lord as well as saves her people. Brenner also points out how Judith’s faith and success go hand in hand. She asked the Lord for permission and ultimately kills Holofernes, saving the Hebrew people. Brenner examines Judith as a female hero as well as a follower of Jesus. She explains how Judith was a successful female leader.

Otzen, Benedikt. Tobit and Judith. Sheffield Academic Press (2002). Web. 7 Nov. 2017.
  • Otzen examines the story of Judith. He spends time summarizing the novel and explaining how different events occurred. Otzen then discusses how Judith uses her beauty and faith in God to save the Hebrew people. He also explains how she was an exemplary leader. He states that she mirrors other male heroes/figures that appear in the bible, but ultimately uses her female characteristics to overcome her enemy. Otzen’s views are quite similar to the other books and articles I have found thus far. He examines how Judith was successful due to her faith in God and her physical beauty. Otzen connects many aspects of Judith to the Old Testament. He focuses on the theme that “Judith is the struggle between the God of Israel and the heathen king usurping the place of God” (Otzen, 101). He focuses much on the religious aspect of the story and how Judith was successfully heroic due to her faith in God.

Campbell, Jackson J. Schematic Technique in Judith. ELH 38.2 (1971): 155-172. JSTOR. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.
  • Campbell analyzes Judith’s “simple dependence and reliance on the power of God” (Campbell, 157). He explains how Judith becomes the hero in the story due to her belief and faith in God. He goes into detail explaining Holofernes as a character. He explains how he was strong and powerful as well as terrifying. The fact that Judith was able to defeat him was unimaginable, however, Campbells focuses on the fact that Judith's faith made this defeat possible. Judith asked God for permission to kill Holofernes and the fact that her beauty gave her that opportunity, and she was able to get him alone and drunk, was also of great importance. She killed Holofernes with ease, and Campbell believed that ease connected with the fact that it was easy loving and believing in God yourself.

Reflection

I believe that the meeting with the librarian was helpful. I have had meetings with the librarian in my British Literature class, as well as other literature and English classes. I learned what makes a scholarly article and different ways to analyze databases and website such as google scholar. The scholars in my texts are concerned with the connection of heroism and faith. All of the articles and books I have researched, discuss Judith being a female hero and a loving and faithful follower of God. I thought it was interesting to see how all of the articles and books I have been focusing on have been using each others work and citing each other. This makes it easier for me to connect all of my research and information about Judith. The fact they the articles and book I have chosen thus far are all connected and discussing the same topics also show show my understanding of the text itself was connected to these scholarly authors. This helps my research because I can feel secure in my understand of the text as well as different interpretations and examinations I have been researching. The articles discuss how Judith used her faith in God to give her the strength to overpower her enemy. They also discuss how she was an exemplary female leader for the Hebrew people of that time, as well as present day. The texts want to compare her faith to her success as a hero. The articles and books discuss how her beauty and faith in God gave her the power and strength to overcome tough situations. Judith is an exemplary female hero. The scholars I have researched give credible and accurate examples and explanations of how her faith lead to her success.

Query
The only questioned that have occurred during my research would be when the authors of the articles and books discuss and/or compare Judith to other female heroes. I suppose it would be useful to het more information on the other female heroes that are discuss then I would be able to understand their comparisons. In addition, some of the articles downplay Judith’s acts and use her beauty as a means of manipulation towards Holofernes. Although, that was Judith’s plan to get Holofernes alone, her faith in God ultimately gave her the strength to behead her enemy. I disagreed with articles that compared her to other male heroes. She was one of a kind and even when the scholars compare her to other female heroes her story is original.

Checkpoint #4

Abstract
The story of Judith was meant to teach about gender, instead educators and authors use her beauty against her. Judith should be used as an example of how gender has no specific obligations. The state of being male or female should not come with implications of what one can and cannot do. Many medievalists, authors, and educators attempt to use Judith as an example of how gender roles in the Middle Ages did not only consist of men warriors and/or heroes, but that there were also very powerful and holy women warriors and/or heroes in this time period. Whereas, others try to defame Judith and use her story as one where her beauty and body lead to her victory. Judith should be used to teach students about how gender, although important in the Middle Ages, has no limits or boundaries. Gender should not be held against important and significant characters in history. Judith was someone who saved the Hebrew people by beheading the Assyrians leader, Holofernes, and should be taught to students regardless of her gender because it is a story that depicts holiness and honor. Judith was a warrior, and her story should not be hidden behind her beauty, body, and gender. Scholars such as Peter J. Lucas claim that the story of Judith was inaccurately translated. He states that many of her acts are depicted as weaknesses, however, she transcends those interpretations throughout the progression of the story. Furthermore, Deborah F. Sawyer focuses on the story Judith as an example of power and gender. She explains how Judith’s actions in an ancient world was a strong expression of gender identity. These scholars, educators, authors, and medievalist positive opinions on how Judith can be beneficial to teaching about gender in the Middle Ages are vital to the continuance of Judith’s story being taught in classrooms today.

Work Cited
Lucas, Peter J. “Judith” and the Woman Hero. The Yearbook of English ‍Studies. Vol.22 (1992):‍ 17-27. JSTOR. Web 11 Oct. 2017.

Sawyer, Deborah F. ‍"Dressing Up/Dressing Down: Power, Performance and Identity in the book of Judith”.‍ Feminist Theology (2001): 23-31. Web. 11 Oct. 2017.

Mura, Karen E. and McMillin, Linda A. Not a Damsel in Distress: Feminist Medieval Studies at a Small Libral Arts University. Feminist Teacher 10.2 (1996): 49-58. JSTOR. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.
  • Karen E. Mura and Linda A. McMillin discussed a course they set up to teach students and broaden their horizons of female figures in the Middle Ages. They wanted to teach students about Medieval studies in a way that was not only connective to their own lives but also engaging to their interests. Students were examining different women in the Middle Ages and discussed different ways in which they were discriminated against. They class examined gender roles and culture in medieval times and this helped them understand how female figures were treated in certain cultures based on their gender. Mura and McMillin stated “as we discovered in teaching about medieval woman, however, these strategies prove especially useful in engaging students interest in a subject that was previously remote or unfamiliar" (Mura and Mcmillin, 58). I thought this was incredibly informative because although it did not mention Judith, she was a female hero and an important woman in the Middle Ages. I appreciate that Mura and McMillin were aiming to teach young adults about the important woman who resided in the mediaeval times. They strive to teach and expand knowledge about female figures in the Middle Ages in a way that was “meaningful to students” (Mura and Mcmillin, 58). Karen E. Mura and Linda A. McMillin work together as professors at Susquehanna University. Mura has her Ph.D in English and Creative Writing, and she devotes her time to Medieval studies, making her a credible source. McMillin and Mura have been published in many books and articles regarding Medieval Studies making them credible sources.

Nair, Janaki. The Troubled Relationship of Feminism and History. Economic and Political Weekly 43.43 (2008): 57-65. JSTOR. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.
  • Nair explains how an ample amount of history has “been richly fertilized by the insight of feminism” (Nair, 57). The article explains how much of the feminist history seems to get lost in the mainstream history program. The articles explains how “feminism’s investment in history, worldwide, is linked to its desire to dismantle and transform persistent gender hierarchies in known historical epochs, and geographical spaces. Niar focuses on women in India. The article explains how women in India are still experiencing and living like the pre-colonial and colonial period. This means that many women still have voiceless. Feminists in India and around the world are attempting to break the barrier between feminism and history. Feminists believe it is important to have a voice in history, and in the past and present they have succeeded in many different ways. However and unfortunately, feminists still encounter difficult situations and scenarios that make their relationship with history problematic. Janaki has her Ph.D in History from Syracuse University. She has published many books and articles about the importance of women and their roles in history, making her a credible source.

Driscoll, Ellen. Hunger, Representation, and the Female Body: An Analysis of Intersecting Themes in Feminist Studies in Religion and the Psychology of Women. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 13.1 (1997): 91-104. JSTOR. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.
  • This article was interesting because it discusses the body and how it connects with feminist studies. This connects with my topic of Judith because she was seen and defined on her body and beauty, instead of her power and faith in God. Driscoll explains how there was and continues to be a fascination and obsession with the female body in society. This is important, because females are being defined based on their bodies and many people in society find it difficult to separate brains and body when it comes to women. This article connects with Judith, again, because she was only seen as the “village belle”, when in reality she was much more than just a beautiful face. I believe that this article explains the complications when it comes to the female body and how society treats women on a daily basis. I also thought it was interesting when Driscoll discusses women’s anxiety. I had never thought about how women in the Middle Ages would starve themselves in fear of threatening the nobility with their desires and hungers. This article connects with my chosen text, as well as discussing the problems that existed in medieval times as well as today, with the representations of females and the female body. Ellen Driscoll's article has been cited many times on related articles. She has been published in other articles as well, making her a credible source.

Argument AGAINST a scholarly article:

Jeffrey, Jane E. Teaching Medieval Women: An Introduction. College Literature 28.2 (2001): 66-69. JSTOR. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.
  • Jeffrey describes how “medieval pedagogy has been demonstrable affected by developments in humanities, most notably by women’s studies and literary theory” (Jeffrey, 67). She notices and discusses how women in the Middle Ages were of vital importance and how they helped form and explained medieval studies. She discussed different articles and educators who continue to research and teach about influential and exemplary women in the Middle Ages. However, some of these educators were being criticized for teaching about women studies. Although Jeffrey was merely explaining in her article how some educators and authors were being criticized, I disagree with why they were disagreeing with people teaching about medieval women. Jane Chance was critiqued for incorporating medieval women into her fashion course. I disagree because Chance was only including medical women to show how influential and important for not only fashion but having a voice as a women in that time period in general. Other educators and authors see things differently, they believe that teaching students about women in the Middle ages was helpful. However, educators and authors continue to get criticized and critiqued on how they incorporate medieval women into their curriculum. Jane E. Jeffrey has her Ph.D in English from the University of Iowa. Her interests are in Medieval Women's writing and Culture, and has been published a number of times, making her a credible source.