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Beowulf: A Verse Translation

Product no.: 0-14-044268-5
Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon poem of epic scope, dates back to the year 850 and marks the beginning of the English literary tradition.

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Publisher's Synopsis
A richly allusive narrative, blending history with legend and folklore, Beowulf portrays an epic conflict of feast and feud, generosity and vengeance, life and death.

In this new edition for Penguin Classics, Michael Alexander provides a new introduction, bibliography, notes, maps, an index of proper names, genealogical tables, and a fully revised text.

Reviews
"There are in the poem some vivid touches of the right kind... in which this dragon is real worm, with a bestial life and thought of his own, but the conception, none the less, approaches draconitas rather than draco: a personification of malice, greed, destruction (the evil side of heroic life) and of the undiscriminating cruelty of fortune that distinguishes not good or bad (the evil aspect of all life)."      ~JRR Tolkien, The Monsters and the Critics

Excerpt
"Engaging with Grendel and hoping to hew him from every side, they scarcely suspected that blades wielded by worthy warriors never would cut to the criminal's quick. The spell was spun so strongly about him that the finest iron of any on earth, the sharpest sword-edge left him unscathed.

Still he was soon to be stripped of his life and sent on a sore sojourn to Hell. The strength of his sinews would serve him no more; no more would he menace mankind with his crimes, his grudge against God, for the high-hearted kinsman of King Hygelac had hold of his hand.

Each found the other loathsome while living; but the murderous man-bane got a great wound as tendons were torn, shoulder shorn open, and bone-locks broken. Beowulf gained glory in war; and Grendel went off bloody and bent to the boggy hills, sorrowfully seeking his dreary dwelling.

Surely he sensed his life-span was spent, his days upon days; but the Danes rejoiced: the wish was fulfilled after fearsome warfare."

Translator Alexander, Michael
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 176 pp.
Publisher Penguin Books 1973
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