New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.
"Would like the whole thing!"
Beowulf is considered the finest heroic poem in Old English. It celebrates the character and exploits of Beowulf, a young nobleman and warrior, as he proves his superhuman strength and endurance. He also represents the ideal lord and vassal, rewarding his men generously and accomplishing glorious deeds to honor his king.
The origins, history and authorship of Beowulf are shrouded in uncertainty. This heroic epic probably began, as most do, with a wandering troubadour strumming a stringed instrument, sitting before a hearth-fire, and singing the verses to a spellbound audience arrayed before him. Beowulf is a rousing adventure story, filled with intrepid heroes, monsters and fire-breathing dragons, which can be listened to for the sheer enjoyment of the tale.
"An enjoyable listen"
The oldest long poem in Old English, written about AD 1,000, Beowulf tells the story of a great warrior of southern Scandinavia, in both youth and maturity. The monster Grendel terrorizes the Scyldings of Hrothgar's Danish Kingdom until Beowulf defeats him. As a result, he has to face her enraged mother. Beowulf dies after a battle against a fierce dragon.
"Beowulf lives again!"
Grendel prowled in, hating all men and all joy and hungry for human life. So swift was his attack that no man heard an outcry; but when the dawn came, thirty of Hothgar's best and noblest thanes were missing. Only Beowulf, foremost among warriors, has the strength and courage to battle with Grendel the Night-stalker....
Out of the mixture of Latin and Germanic paganism and the Christianity of the Early Middle Ages has sprung one of the world's supremely great pieces of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, delivered a famous lecture to the British Academy in 1936 in which he maintained that Beowulf was a poem all of a piece, and not (as had been suggested) a jumble of fragments for pedantic scholars to paw over.
"As good as it gets!"
Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf is an epic poem that traces the exploits of the titular hero. After coming to the aid of the king of the Danes, whose mead hall is under constant attack by the monster Grendel, Beowulf slays Grendel's mother and goes on to become the king of the Geats.
It is during the Middle Ages that modern Europe, indeed, modern Western culture as we know it, comes to be. Classical Mediterranean culture drew from the ancient Middle East, and more directly, from the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. The Middle Ages add the Northlands, Celts, and Germans, and ultimately, Slavs as well, to the mix.
"The Kind of Professor I Want My Kids to Have"
Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in medias ("into the middle of affairs") or simply, "in the middle", which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity.
It's never been easy to be a hero. When Beowulf arrives at Hrothgar's hall, he discovers that the hall is beset by Grendel, an evil creature that kills and pillages with impunity. Beowulf, in heroic fashion, bests Grendel in combat, then follows Grendel back to his lair to finish the job.
When sleep was at its deepest, night at its blackest, up from the mist-filled marsh came Grendel stalking. Thus begins the battle between good and evil, for lying in wait and anxious to challenge the ogre Grendel is a young man, strong-willed and fire-hearted. This man is Beowulf, whose heroic dragon-slaying deeds were sung in the courts of Anglo-Saxon England more than a thousand years ago.
"Wonderfully Grim, Austere, Beautiful Beowulf"
A new generation is growing up on the island paradise of Camelot, ignorant of the Great Grendel Wars fought when their parents and grandparents first arrived on Earth. Setting out to explore the mainland, this group of young rebels feels ready to fight any grendels that get in their way. On Avalon, however, there are monsters that dwarf the ones their parents fought, and as the group will soon learn, monsters also dwell in the human heart. Avalon does not give up her secrets easily, and some of those mysteries are wicked as sin and blacker than the grave.
"Great follow to legacy!"
In the third exciting novel of this treasure-hunting series, Thalia Phoenix (aka Phoe), who is an amateur archaeologist, is at an impasse when Simon Kessler wants her to find Beowulf's lair. Convinced that the Beowulf myth is nothing but an ancient poem, she refuses. Instead Peter takes the mission. When Peter bungles the job, Phoe, Peter, Jonathan, and a computer expert named Kadan get swept up into something dangerous and compelling, something no human has ever experienced.
The CliffsNotes study guide on Beowulf supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, and critical commentaries, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work.
"Slushajte, dobrye ljudi, starinnuju povest', drevnjuju sagu o Beovul'fe…"Krovavye bitvy i velikie podvigi, zakljat'e kurgannyh sokrovishh i chudovishhnye monstry, predannye druz'ja i podlye vragi – v geroicheskoj sage o velichajshem voitele anglosaksonskih plemen, velikom konunge Beovul'fe. On fantasticheski silen i nepobedim, on blagoroden i spravedliv, ego slovo – slovo chesti. I pust' protiv nego opolchajutsja sily t'my – Beovul'f odoleet ih v chestnoj bitve. "Voistinu, net sredi smertnyhvoitelja, ravnogo v sile tebe, Beovul'f dostoslavnyj!"
World renowned critic John Gardner has received prestigious awards for his wide range of literary achievements including short stories, novels, and essays. When he turns his talents to retelling Beowulf, the earliest epic in British literature, the result is a work that combines extensive knowledge with a marvelous strain of pure fun. In Gardner's version of the epic, instead of lauding the helmeted hero, Beowulf, the spotlight shines on Grendel.
"The dragon's speech is the best part"
This is an early translation from the Anglo-Saxon seventh-century epic poem, which is based on Norse legends of wars and monsters and tells of the heroic deeds of the warrior Beowulf. Translated by A. Diedrich Wackerbarth.
"Very pretty, but you must not call it Beowulf"
Excerpts from the classic medieval poem, performed in the original language with English translation, original music, and commentary.
You never know how you might react in a high-pressure situation until it actually happens. Beowulf Jones tells a hilarious story about discovering how he really deals with his emotions, performed before a live audience for RISK! at The PIT in New York, NY.