This is a dynamic performance by Sebastian Lockwood of the great poem using a new translation by Clark and Lockwood.
This single inherited epic in our language has it all: drama, blood, heroism, mourning, and teaching with soul-searching thought about all this. It looks back. In its top layer of listening, we are brought along with heroic figures, even with a superhero, to challenge agonizing monsters. This world also includes beautiful sea voyages, crafty disputes, the falling of tribes, and moving elegies. Most often its Old English poetry can translate directly into fresh pictures. The epic Beowulf is a masterfully told story.
Beowulf also steadily gives insight on its listening audience during a momentous time of transitions, in England between the eighth and 11th century. The courts of Beowulf teem with signs of deadly intrigues to come, hubris, cowardice, the betrayal of good leaders. Pagan Wyrd and Christian God are both at work here. In early Christian England, the people, including monastics, still loved to tell and hear those ancient oral heroic - and pagan - teaching-stories. This epic is unique in that it bridges the ethical gap.