Guide Beowulf

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Lines of Thought

View 1 comment. Apr 17, Loretta rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , classic , poetry , five-star-reads , myreading-challenge. I was always quite intimidated by this book. I'm not sure why. Now I realize that my being intimidated by a book, especially by this one, was just ridiculous.

(DOC) Beowulf: Arnold's Studies in English Literature | Tom Shippey -

What a fabulous, fabulous book! I just loved everything about it! The poetry, the story! View 2 comments. I might be biased here - I am Danish and most of this story takes place in Denmark - but this was truly an epos! I am not usually into poems, but this one actually moved me. More than once I found myself rereading a stanza simply because the writing touched something in me.

The battles, the bloodshed, the heraldry, the monsters! Beowulf is a hero of the same ilk as Theseus, Hercules and Ragnarok. Because there is so much mystery surrounding the origin of this story. The text was discovered in a monastery in the 16th century but was probably written around AD by an unknown author in England, who somehow had knowledge of Danish and Swedish Geat legends and who tried to recast them in a Christian narrative. I might be the only one on this one, but this mystery really captivates me.

Might just be because I am an historian View all 6 comments. I don't know who this "anonymous" guy is but he sure does write some fantastic books. I'll be sure to check his books his other stuff in future.

Beowulf (modern English translation)

View all 10 comments. Jan 05, Aubrey rated it really liked it Shelves: translated , old-english , 4-star , poetry , 1-read-on-hand , antidote-think-twice-all , antidote-translated , r , r-goodreads , reviewed.

I doubt I would have liked this so much had The Lord of Rings not been such an essential part of me so early on. Books are the one and only thing that has been mine and my own since the beginning, and the rings, the dragons, the songs of days long lost and the coming of the end have filled the place of me that religion never could. While there is much to critique, it has sunk so deeply into my resonance that the best I can do is hope that everyone has such a refuge in their heritage as I do in E I doubt I would have liked this so much had The Lord of Rings not been such an essential part of me so early on.

While there is much to critique, it has sunk so deeply into my resonance that the best I can do is hope that everyone has such a refuge in their heritage as I do in English. Beowulf played the strings of Tolkien, Tolkien played the strings of me, and the most I can do is seek out the same in worlds beyond the same old, same old.

Beyond my nostalgic tone, there is the text itself with its strong rhythm, unusual self-reflexivity, and a future that looks back onto the crossroads with relief and a yearning. They are old, these crossroads, traversing a time when bloodshed belonged to a single self and the conquering strain had not yet set the tone for my postcolonial times.

It is a time popularly known as the Dark Ages, a naming that shows how little use there is in generic categorizations that ignore both the frame of reference and the multifarious qualities of "Dark. Others have likely spoken about the lack of women, and it bears mentioning how few of them were worthy of a name in the family trees of the appendix. While good to keep an eye on during general reading, this text is an old and singular survivor of burning and religious condemnation, and what merits it would not have had it been written today will be granted.

Much like my recently read 'Oroonoko,' it is a window to the past, and while much referred in academia to the detriment of less European texts, it also sparks a wondering thought: what else was going on in the world back then? What other voices have made their long and torturous way to the present conscious, and how many have yet to be given their due? My modern age has given me much in terms of technology, but still it malingers in Eurocentric repetition. I doubt I shall live to see the day when Beowulf is joined by twenty or more of its polytongued siblings in halls that give each the credit they're due, but I can begin making my own way towards those waiting, not so foreign strings.

View all 8 comments. Jul 20, Francisco rated it it was amazing. Beowulf - you might have encountered it at a college English class.


Your teacher may have written a few of the original lines of Old English on the blackboard and had you try to decipher them. There was probably lots of history taught in that class: the poem was written by an Anglo-Saxon poet some time between the 8th and the 11th century. The poet, a Christian, wrote about events taking place in "heathen" England two or three centuries before.

If your English class was anything like mine there Beowulf - you might have encountered it at a college English class. If your English class was anything like mine there was probably a lot of analysis about the "mixture" of world views - the Christian and the Germanic. And all along, you were probably hoping that the teacher move on to something more exciting.

But here's why you may want to give this particular classic another try. First, chances are that the Seamus Heaney's translation will convey to you the essential beauty of the poem in a way that other translations couldn't do. And by "essential" I mean that sometimes it takes a poet's sensibility to intuit the right and clear presentation of another poet's meaning. It is not a case of avoiding the literal and the precise but rather the acknowledgment that translation is an art that requires not only scholarship but also creativity and intuition.

All you have to do is read Seamus Heaney's introduction and you will know almost immediately that you are in the presence of a man of extraordinary gifts who has taken great care to present you with a work of everlasting beauty. I am not going to tell you about the "plot" of the poem because there is no "plot" other than three battles between a hero and evil represented in various forms.

The fact that these representations of evil are "fantastic" only adds to the extraordinariness of this early work. One of the greatest contributions of this edition by Norton is the inclusion of the most incisive critical essays on the poem, including, J. Tolkien's ground breaking, Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics where Tolkien takes on the countless critics who have lamented the poet's decision to portray conflicts between a man and monsters and dragons in lieu of more historical or more realistic encounters between humans. Tolkien's essay, by the way, will also give you a greater understanding of why Tolkien chose to do certain things in The Lord of the Rings What Tolkien will remind you of and what you will feel when you read the poem again is that the story of a man fighting battles he will eventually lose but which he must nevertheless continue fighting is as heart-enhancing today as it was in the eight century.

Tillerson’s exit interview

Courage, after all, has little to do with the success of the fight. View all 9 comments. Dec 27, Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing Shelves: epics , r-r-rs , epic-stuff , poetry. Could not consider the experience complete without reading Heaney's acclaimed translation. The acclaim was well deserved. This version was much easier to read, less choked by stylistic anachronisms and more alive in every sense. Gummere's translation has an elegance and presence that intimidates and exalts the reading but Heaney brings it home, makes it as familiar as Homer's epics and somehow makes us at ease with the strange manes and the stranger tides.

View all 20 comments. Jun 20, Roger Brunyate rated it it was amazing Shelves: nobel-laureates , before , poetry , other-languages , fantasy-surreal. A Confession. This made a big splash it first came out in I bought it mostly for duty, but didn't read it. After all, I had studied the text in the original at University; I could even recite the opening. Surely I just needed a nudge, and it would all come back to me—so why bother with a translation? Oh, the arrogance! When I opened this, and saw the original text on the left-hand pages, I found I could not make it out at all; I had even been misremembering the opening lines for all those years.

I realized, too, that my study in must have been confined to laborious parsing; it left me with almost no sense of Beowulf as a work of literature. And I was astonished at opening this translation by Seamus Heaney, a Nobel laureate no less, to discover how natural and easy to read it was, how unassuming, how little in the decorative sense "poetic"!

Heaney explains all these things in a superb Introduction that manages to be scholarly and personal at the same time. But let me offer a few points of my own. The Poem. The narrative core of the poem consists of three feats by the warrior hero Beowulf. A prince of the Geats that is, from Southern Sweden , he sails to the aid of Hrothgar of Denmark, whose kingdom is being ravaged by a monster named Grendel.

Beowulf -The Monster Slayer Full Game Movie

Beowulf determines to tackle the monster mano-a-mano, and deals it a mortal wound, tearing off an entire arm at the shoulder. But then he has to deal with Grendel's vengeful mother, an even more terrible fight, taking place partly underwater. He returns home and eventually becomes king of his people.

But at the very end of his life, he faces one more challenge: to take on a dragon keeping guard over a golden hoard, whose fiery breath melts the sword in his hand. None of these episodes takes much more than lines each of a 3,line poem, but the remainder is far more than filler; this is a saga that, at least in this translation, moves swiftly without any loss of interest.

Part of it is the ritual celebration of heroism. Before and after each exploit there is a mighty feast in which gifts and compliments are exchanged.