By Ruth A. Johnston
Perhaps an important paintings written in outdated English, Beowulf grew out of a tradition very varied from ours, and but its tale of battle, violence, and heroism is still proper to fashionable readers. obtainable to highschool scholars, normal readers, and undergraduates, this significant other overviews the poem and its legacy. The preliminary chapters assessment the plot of Beowulf , whereas later chapters speak about its type and language, its cultural and ancient contexts, and its afterlife in modern well known culture.
The first a part of the booklet offers details of curiosity to quite a lot of readers, whereas the second one covers extra really expert themes. therefore the preliminary chapters assessment the advantages of alternative translations and provide an in depth plot precis, whereas later chapters speak about the poem's language and elegance, its remedy of faith, its relation to Anglo-Saxon tradition, and its legacy in pop culture. one of many maximum Beowulf students was once J.R.R. Tolkien, and the booklet offers distinctive awareness to his use of the poem in his personal fiction. highschool scholars, undergraduates, and common readers will locate this ebook a precious consultant to at least one of the main hard but enduring works of English literature.
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Extra resources for A Companion to Beowulf
Lines 178—188 could express this attitude toward the "noble pagan": the good man who will be hopelessly damned but perhaps would believe in the true God if he could. Is it possible that the author of Beowulf was influenced by Boniface's letter and other writings like it? Perhaps he wished that Hrothgar and Beowulf had lived during a time when they might have become Christians, and he felt the goodness of their virtues of loyalty and courage and allowed himself to use more Christian coloring than the facts allowed.
I can see you are warriors; you wear that dress now. " Frederick Rebsamen's 1991 lines try to strike a balance: " W h o might you be in your burnished mailcoats / shining with weapons? " It is impossible to cover every recent translation, but most of them try to find a balance between poetic grace and literal precision. The translation I use for this book, whenever lines of Beowulf need to be quoted, is R . M. Liuzza's poem (2000). Liuzza's choices are moderate, combining easy readability with a good level of literal translation.
Grendel's flamboyant blood drinking was guaranteed to turn stomachs and mark him as a particularly evil monster. In the end, what kind of monster is Grendel? He has attributes of three different kinds, and without more description, no one can tell exactly what he was. Like a troll, he is large and lives in the wilderness, but he is also somewhat man-like. Like water monsters, he lives in a swampy lake. Like a ghost, he must have his head cut off. Perhaps the audience of the poem was willing to enlist all three kinds of creatures in their mental image of this fierce, evil monster.
A Companion to Beowulf by Ruth A. Johnston