Beowulf

This early Old English saga is a fantastic narrative poem about the adventures of our hero “Beowulf“. It narrates the story in three parts or episodes:

  1. Beowulf combats and kills Grendel
  2. Beowulf combats and kills Grendel’s mother
  3. Beowulf combats and kills the dragon.

For those of us whose Old English is a little shaky, I recommend an excellent English translation by H. Lumsden in 1883, and is available in pdf. Lumsden is, of course, one among many English translators (compare Lumsden’s with other versions). Librivox host an audiobook version (Gummere’s translation).

A two-part video-clip “Beowulf character study” is well worth a look: it examines only the first episode (Beowulf vs Grendel), with some alterations to the storyline.

The Beowulf Movie 2007 is, on the whole, an excellent retelling of the Beowulf saga: I thought the first and last episodes of the saga (ie Beowulf vs Grendel and Beowulf vs the Dragon, respectively) particularly well done. The movie completely alters episode 2 (ie Beowulf vs Grendel’s mother) from the original storyline.

Want to experience more?

Beowulf

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