Beowulf by Unknown author

Dr T

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Beowulf by Unknown author Seamus Heaney's translation

Why I picked this book up: I saw the book a lot and had never read it so I thought I’d pick it up.

Why I finished this book: I thought the book was ok and wasn’t really drawn into the whole thing but was interested (at times) about the fanciful and powerful way things were addressed. The whole “manchoness” and power made me want to see how things were handled.

Rating: I’d give this book a 2 star rating out of 5 stars. It was not my favorite but at least I read it.

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I thought it was written in Middle English? Or is it just that most modern translations use Middle English? It's been awhile.

Middle English is Chaucer and that gang. Old English is usually called Anglo Saxon (at least it was at BYU when I took it). Case for nouns, verb declensions you can't believe (I invented a slide rule to parse them), limited vocabulary compared to either Middle or Modern English. Modern translations use Modern English but usually the old verse system that depends on alliteration and stresses rather than rhyme and syllables.

And don't forget those kennings!

PS. Here it is:

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Edited by Captain_Curmudgeon
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  • 2 weeks later...

Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics

In the following excerpt from a 1936 British Academy lecture, Tolkien asserts that Beowulf, in addition to possessing historical and linguistic significance, is the most successful poem in Old English literature based upon its aesthetic qualities. (Read the entire article here for free in PDF form.)

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  • 7 months later...

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