Advantages Easy access to Britain's earliest 'Classic'
Disadvantages Encouraging people to read it in the first place!
|Would you read it again?|
|How does it compare to similar works?|
|How does it compare to works by the same author?|
The Seamus Heaney translation has been a God-send to me.I study Anglo-Saxon and as a result have a very limited selection of people that i can usually study my texts with.Which was a pain!...Until i persuaded my Dad, boyfriend and various random members of my family to read this Beowulf translation.
The plot of the tale is easy to follow yet gripping as the reader's empathy with Beowulf is deep.JRR Tolkein was a Anglo-Saxon expert and so any lover of Lord of the Rings will love to discover some of his influences (for example Beowulf is the 'ring bearer' of the Geats).
It is easy to read but never in a patronising way.It just manages to epitomise the simplicity of the vocabulary used yet keeps the depth of description for the origial by using the compound words typical of ASax.Heaney's use of the alliterative style keeps true to the original but not in an overwhelming way.
The thing about this translation is that is offers access to one of the most fantastic tales ever written which is, unfortunately, often denied to people unless they can read ASax. There are many translations about but Heaney's standing as a poet as well as a translator sets this version apart from the others.He handles the language with great care; it is not literal but perhaps this prevents it from becoming as stilted as other i have read.
Finally, if you cannot read Beowulf in the original you may as well read GOOD poetry and this is IT.
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