Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beowulf --- oh how thou confused me.

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition)I just finished reading through Beowulf for the first time.   It's a great struggle to get through, especially the version that came with my Kobo e-reader.   I think the version is not as concise as with new versions.   Part of the problem is that the glossary of terms and dictionary of the language is a pain to check out on a Kobo, as opposed to an actual book (should arrive soon).  By the time I finished reading BeowulfI could definately see some of the influence on Tolkiens work.

Starting from the basic wording of the land of the Geets and Danes = Mid-earth, too the Dragon at the end of the tale with his hoard of gold= Smaug.   There is much more as well. 

The story also has great reverance for God as well,  which was the biggest surprise to me.   Of course some of it may not be that theologically sound (Grendel and his mother were associated with the fall of Cain) but still, its pretty cool.  You won't find any positive mentions about Christianity in the movie versions of Beowulf, but here it is in black and white.   In fact the narrator laments as some people go back to the 'old gods' as it were.

Unlike the newest Beowulf animated movie, Beowulf does not get seduced by the mother of Grendel, he kills her right off with a giant sword.  -- oh, and the dragon is not Beowulf's bastard child.   Lots of discrepencies.   Glad I read through it once before my class starts in late August.   Now to get through the Lord of the Rings before then as well.    That, I know will be a better (easier) read.


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