October 6, 2022

The old English dragon-slaying epic Beowulf has been hit with a wide variety of trigger warnings, including one about “animal cruelty.”

The seminal story of the hero Beowulf, which describes in Old English the exploits of one of Britain’s most famous warriors in slaying a dragon, has been hit with a series of trigger warnings at a British University.

Included in the syllabus of the University of Aberdeen’s ‘Lost Gods and Hidden Monsters of the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages’ course, the poem is one of several historical pieces of European literature slapped with blanket trigger warnings about ‘animal cruelty’ , “satisfaction”, “death of animals” along with a bunch of other things that are considered problematic.

According to a report with The Telegraphmore than 30 warnings in total are provided by the University, with Beowulf specifically cited as having “particularly graphic depictions of violence (homicidal, genocidal and domestic)”, along with other stories from Norse and Gaelic myth.

Meanwhile, the Gaelic story of the two battles of Mag Tuiread is also distinguished from the third-level institution as containing “an explicit depiction of intercourse depicted as part of behaviors that would today be equated with sadomasochism and eating disorders”.

In the historythe deity known as Dagda—often depicted as somewhat of a fish throughout Irish mythology—eats so much food that he is somewhat force-fed by an enemy who becomes so overweight as to be incapacitated.

After being insulted and dumped by a beautiful woman for his sorry state, he “left[s] go the contents of his belly’ so that he can take the woman as his ‘mistress’.

The Telegraph reports that the University of Aberdeen has a policy mandating the use of trigger warnings, which says that — while the institution reportedly embraces “the right of individuals to speak freely within legal limits,” warning students is required in order to honor “the spirit participation”.

“…it is therefore the duty of all teaching staff to ensure that students are aware of course content before they are exposed to it, so that they are prepared for anything that may disturb them,” the University’s policy states.

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