By Dick Ringler

Dick Ringler's deceptively uncomplicated translation captures the rhythm, circulation, and tool of the unique outdated English poem whereas utilising a fluid glossy English sort and a comparatively spare vocabulary. His beneficiant advent, a full of life but masterly advisor to the paintings, together with his translations of 3 shorter outdated English poems elucidate an important English textual content nearly as famous for its subtlety and intricacy because it is for its monsters and heroes.

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Additional resources for Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery

Sample text

The join between them occurs unexpectedly in the middle of one of the poem’s numbered sections, just after Beowulf has been given enormous rewards by his uncle Hygelac, the king, in recognition of his achievements: Both of them, the king and Beowulf, had land in that country, the king much more, the whole kingdom, since he was higher in rank. It would come to pass in the cruel wars of the harsh future, when Hygelac was dead and his son Heardred had been slain in combat. . (4393–4404) After this we are in altogether new territory.

An interesting example of the interplay of strength and wisdom, and of how they are mutually reinforcing for Beowulf, is provided by the clash between the hero and Unferth43 and the way in which this clash is ultimately resolved. Both Beowulf and the poet attribute Unferth’s sudden attack on the hero’s credentials to drunkenness (1060 and 2934), the poet adding that it was also the result of envy: Beowulf’s unbidden bold arrival 43. Beowulf criticism has devoted a lot of attention to Unferth and his role at the Danish court and has evolved a number of competing interpretations of this complex and ambiguous figure.

With regard to Beowulf’s sapientia we may ask: In what, precisely, does this wisdom consist? The answer is many-sided, since “wisdom” is not so straightforward a quality as “strength”; it includes all sorts of intellectual, social, and interpersonal skills. An interesting example of the interplay of strength and wisdom, and of how they are mutually reinforcing for Beowulf, is provided by the clash between the hero and Unferth43 and the way in which this clash is ultimately resolved. Both Beowulf and the poet attribute Unferth’s sudden attack on the hero’s credentials to drunkenness (1060 and 2934), the poet adding that it was also the result of envy: Beowulf’s unbidden bold arrival 43.

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