This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Epic Of Beowulf Essay Foreign And English Translations And Versions Of Beowulf

1600 words - 6 pages

Foreign and English Translations and Versions of Beowulf

       From 1805 until the present there have been introduced an abundance of paraphrases, translations, adaptations, summaries, versions and illustrations of Beowulf in modern English and in foreign languages due mostly to two reasons: the desire to make the poem accessible, and the desire to read the exotic (Osborn 341). It is the purpose of this essay to present a brief history of this development of the popularity of the poem and then compare some of the translations with respect to some more difficult passages in the poem Beowulf.

 

In 1805 Sharon Turner included some passages from Beowulf in his The History of the Anglo-Saxons; he increased the text in later editions. In 1815 Grimur Johsson Thorkelin published the complete, though inaccurate, translation of the poem Beowulf. Thorkelin thought that the poem was a translation made in the court of King Alfred. These two citations show how Beowulf got its start towards fame in the modern era.

 

In more recent years more contemporary Beowulf enthusiasts are publishing a version in Hungarian (by Gyorgy in1994); doing photographic representations of the poem (Swearer, etc. in 1990, etc.); doing a meditative translation (Hudson in 1990); doing an Augustinian translation (Huppe in 1994); a translation based on syllabic meter (Greenfield in 1982); writing a novel, Eaters of the Dead, based on th epoem (Crichton in 1978); retelling the poem as a rock musical (Wylie in 1974); and the list is endless. Each approach strives to reinterpret Beowulf in the local and contemporary idiom (Osborn 341).

Regarding the translation of Beowulf into English and foreign languages, both verse and prose, in 1815 a Latin version by Thorkelin appeared, as well as an Old Norse excerpted translation; in 1820 a Danish verse version; all through the 1800’s and 1900’s various English translations appear, 64 in total; an Italian version in 1833 followed by several others during the 1800”s; an excerpted German version in 1839 by Leo; in 1840 a complete German translation with fifteen other German translations following; in 1877 a French version; in 1896 a Dutch version followed by two others, the latest in 1974; in 1927 a Finnish translation; into Japanese in 1931followed by seven more; in 1934 a Russian translation and a second one in 1975; in 1934 a Spanish translation followed by others since then; in 1937 in Frisian; in 1937 into Bulgarian; 1953 into Scottish dialect; in 1955 into Brazilian; in 1964 into Arabic; in 1966 into Polish; in 1983 into Icelandic; in 1994 into Hungarian (Osborn 343ff.).

 

Now let’s make a comparison between translations for some passages which translators might show disagreement about because of the lack of clarity or missing fragments of text or abundance of synonyms or ambiguous referents.

 

After the Danish coast-guard meets and talks to Beowulf, the guard then begins his next speech with a brief...

Find Another Essay On Epic of Beowulf Essay - Foreign and English Translations and Versions of Beowulf

Epic of Beowulf Essay - Shields in the Epic Poem, Beowulf

1038 words - 4 pages clarified a number of hard passages in the poem. As far as we can tell from Sutton Hoo and other archaeological finds, the Beowulf poet seems never to exaggerate or invent in his descriptions of royal accoutrements (266).   This essay on shields, a defensive weapon mentioned in the poem Beowulf, has relevancy to the poem because of the numerous references therein to the subject. Archaeological finds support the presence and variety of

Comparison of Seven Beowulf Translations Essay

1169 words - 5 pages University of Arizona, has written, and has published a prose Beowulf. Why the seeming lack of scholarship in the translations of these two professionals? Perhaps they seek only a “popular modern adaptation” of the poem?   Let’s turn our attention to an emotional couplet. After the fire-dragon destroys in flame the Geat mead-hall,  the poet says:                                                   breost innan weoll peostrum

Epic of Beowulf Essay - The Balance of Joy and Sorrow in Beowulf

1045 words - 4 pages , which balance with numerous joys expressed on alternate pages. This essay expresses but a selection of joys and sorrows from among the almost countless number existing in the poem.   Beowulf both begins and ends on the sorrowful occasion of a death, Danish king Scyld Scefing’s in the opening lines, and our hero’s in the closing lines. This fact is important in some critics’ classification of the poem as an elegy rather than an epic: “It

Is Beowulf and Epic?

782 words - 4 pages An epic poem pertains to a quest or great deeds of a larger-than-life hero/heroine who embodies the deep values of a specific society. Basically, it is an adventure filled with monsters and battles between good and evil. Beowulf is a poem which focuses on one man who shows great strength and bravery through three different battles with three not-so-different dark creatures. The poem meets the criteria of an epic because of the extraordinary

The Epic of Beowulf

1619 words - 6 pages Beowulf is an epic poem that explores many themes and motifs within the Anglo-Saxon society. The Author, who remains anonymous, composed the epic around 1000 A.D. The literature focuses mainly on a Scandinavian warrior named Beowulf, who comes to the aid of Herot, a small town ran by King Hrothgar. Beowulf arises to rid the town of evil forces, such as the demon monster Grendel, and his savage mother who seeks revenge for the death of her son

Epic of Beowulf

989 words - 4 pages literature is written now. It is an epic poem, meant to be spoken aloud, very few of them were ever written down, and very few of them survived into modern times. Known as the first poem of the English literature, Beowulf is the major literary monument of Old English literature and of Anglo-Saxon England. The original work was written around the year 1000. The myth that Beowulf embodies has captured the modern imagination and placed the poem

Epic of Beowulf

1153 words - 5 pages The 8th century epic poem Beowulf illustrates a loss of community, cultural values and tradition. On the other hand, an elegiac passing of an extraordinary hero and the relationship between the themes of mortality and heroism are well discussed in Beowulf. Beowulf’s character exemplifies the Germanic and the Anglo-Saxon ideals of the hero: strong, fearless, bold, loyal, and stoic in the acceptance of fate. Despite his lack of humility

Epic of Beowulf

874 words - 3 pages the standards of an epic hero. He strives for excellence and individual glory by doing heroic deeds. He has an admirable set of ethics, is great warrior, and is very loyal to his master. Beowulf is also rewarded for his deeds with fame and fortune. Although both of these men are heroes, the individual circumstances which allow them to achieve this status vary greatly. Oedipus was a man of power and high social status. This was due to

Epic of Beowulf

927 words - 4 pages the extraordinary traits required of a hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters dreadful monsters and the most vicious of beasts but he never fears the threat of death. His leadership skills are excellent and he is even able to brag about all his achievements. Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero who risks his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of

Epic of Beowulf - 806 words

806 words - 3 pages “Beowulf” is definitely a prime example of outstanding literature. The work itself is an arcane accomplishment that welds the hardened steel of the Viking resilience to the more-contemporary Christian theology. The sheer magnitude of the document is the stuff of legend; inspiring countless stories and still sets off light bulbs the world over. For most purposes, “Beowulf” embodies the ideal for epic poetry; thus making it a staple in the

Epic of Beowulf - 1271 words

1271 words - 5 pages Throughout life a man makes many descions which determine the way his life will be lived and the way it will end. All choices a man makes in his life have consequences and each man must account for them. In life, every man must reap what he has sown. The values a man holds to be important in his life govern the choices he makes. The epic Beowulf is a good example of this truth. In the story, Beowulf is a god-like human who possesses a strength

Similar Essays

Epic Of Beowulf Essay Alliteration In Beowulf

1355 words - 5 pages Alliteration in Beowulf                     The diction of the Old English poem Beowulf is distinguished primarily by its heavy use of  allliteration, or the repetition of the initial sounds of words.   In the original manuscript version of the poem, alliteration is employed in almost every line (or two half-lines); in modern translations of the poem this is not so. Beowulf uses alliteration [my italics] and accent to achieve the

Themebeo Epic Of Beowulf Essay Style, Structure And Theme

4780 words - 19 pages with a study of the structure of the work.   There is a considerable diversity of opinion regarding the structure of the poem Beowulf. Herein are some of the array of opinions expressed by literary scholars on this issue.   The Cambridge History of English and American Literature states:   It is generally thought that several originally separate lays have been combined in the poem, and, though no proof is obtainable, the

Analysis Of The Epic Poem, Beowulf Beowulf And Caedmon’s Hymn

2319 words - 9 pages Lord wise and holy, will give war-glory to whichever side He thinks the right.” Thus the hero expressed total reliance on God – which in the Christian scheme of things is the way it is supposed to be. He is truly a Christian hero at this stage of the poem.   God stood alongside the hero in his monster combats, even providing a magic sword against the mother, and in his feud-repayments. But towards the end of the epic, when Beowulf was

Epic Of Beowulf Essay Beowulf As Epic Hero

871 words - 3 pages Beowulf as Epic Hero Epic heroes usually exemplify the character traits most admired in their societies, and Beowulf is no exception.  "Beowulf" is set in the Anglo-Saxon society, a time when war was rampant among the many peoples trying to take over the different kingdoms of England.  In this dangerous, violent time people lived in constant peril and jeopardy.  These conditions only allowed people of great bravery to survive and men of