By Ruth A. Johnston
Perhaps an important paintings written in previous English, Beowulf grew out of a tradition very diverse from ours, and but its tale of conflict, violence, and heroism continues to be suitable to fashionable readers. obtainable to highschool scholars, basic readers, and undergraduates, this better half overviews the poem and its legacy. The preliminary chapters assessment the plot of Beowulf , whereas later chapters speak about its kind 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 good subject matters. therefore the preliminary chapters evaluate the advantages of other translations and supply a close plot precis, whereas later chapters talk about the poem's language and magnificence, 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 distinct cognizance to his use of the poem in his personal fiction. highschool scholars, undergraduates, and basic readers will locate this publication a priceless advisor to 1 of the main demanding but enduring works of English literature.
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Extra info for A Companion to Beowulf
He is able to fit inside the hall with ease, and move about, but the king's hall probably has a high ceiling. Grendel may be twice as big as a normal man, perhaps ten to twelve feet tall. W e know that he has claws, as he is able to slit a man open, but these claws could be fingernails that are longer and stronger than usual. W e know that much later in the poem, Beowulf is able to carry Grendel's head by the hair, so we can picture hair long enough to serve as a good handle. Apart from these details, we know nothing more about Grendel's appearance.
Monsters fit into this system as the offspring and servants of the giants or Loki, the wicked god. In the battle of Ragnarok a giant serpent, a fierce, giant dog, and a deadly wolf would join the giants in their attack. While some magical creatures (like Odin's eight-legged horse) could serve the gods, the "monsters" (the misshapen, deformed, and threatening kind) were always against them. Monsters were on the side of the destruction of civilization, and as such their role in Ragnarok was to bring about the end of order.
Michael. Beowulf and the Bear's Son: Epic, Saga and Fairytale in Northern Germanic Tradition. N e w York: Garland, 1992. Tacitus, Cornelius. Germania. , ed. Readings on Beowulf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Whitelock, Dorothy. The Audience of Beowulf. Oxford: Oxford Unversity Press, 1951. 2 Choosing a Translation BEO WULF is one of the most translated of ancient texts. There are over ioo translations spread over the last two centuries, and every year some new translation is published. This prolific activity is far beyond that of the Greek classics such as The Odyssey, and even beyond that of the Bible.