Beowulf: An Introduction to the Study of the Poem with a Discussion of the Stories of Offa and Finn

The University Press
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Publisher
The University Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 1921
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Pages
417
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Language
English
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This carefully crafted ebook: “Beowulf: complete bilingual edition including the original anglo-saxon edition + 3 modern english translations + an extensive study of the poem + footnotes, index and alphabetical glossary” contains 5 books in one volume and is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Beowulf is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century. In 1731, the manuscript was badly damaged by a fire that swept through a building housing a collection of Medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton. The poem's existence for its first seven centuries or so made no impression on writers and scholars, and besides a brief mention in a 1705 catalogue by Humfrey Wanley it was not studied until the end of the eighteenth century, and not published in its entirety until the 1815 edition prepared by the Icelandic-Danish scholar Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland. The numerous different translations and interpretations of Beowulf turn this monumental work into a challenge for the reader. This ebook contains 5 books in one ebook: 1) By Anonymous, edited by Alfred John Wyatt: "Beowulf". This is the anglo-saxon original version based on the autotypes (facsimilies) in Julius Zupitza’s edition of 1882. 2) By John Lesslie Hall: "Beowulf - An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem". This is a 1892 translation of Beowulf into modern english with notes and comments. 3) By William Morris: "The Tale of Beowulf - Sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats". This is an 1895 translation of Beowulf into modern english with notes and comments. 4) By: Francis Barton Gummere: "Beowulf". This is a 1910 translation of Beowulf into modern english , with notes and comments. 5) By: Raymond Wilson Chambers: "Beowulf - An Introduction to the Study of the Poem with a Discussion of the Stories of Offa and Finn".
The unique MS of Beowulf may be, and if possible should be, seen by the student in the British Museum. It is a good specimen of the elegant script of Anglo-Saxon times: "a book got up with some care," as if intended for the library of a nobleman or of a monastery. Yet this MS is removed from the date when the poem was composed and from the events which it narrates (so far as these events are historic at all) by periods of time approximately equal to those which separate us from the time when Shakespeare's Henry V was written, and when the battle of Agincourt was fought.

To try to penetrate the darkness of the five centuries which lie behind the extant MS by fitting together such fragments of illustrative information as can be obtained, and by using the imagination to bridge the gaps, has been the business of three generations of scholars distributed among the ten nations of Germanic speech. A whole library has been written around our poem, and the result is that this book cannot be as simple as either writer or reader might have wished. 

The story which the MS tells us may be summarized thus: Beowulf, a prince of the Geatas, voyages to Heorot, the hall of Hrothgar, king of the Danes; there he destroys a monster Grendel, who for twelve years has haunted the hall by night and slain all he found therein. When Grendel's mother in revenge makes an attack on the hall, Beowulf seeks her out and kills her also in her home beneath the waters. He then returns to his land with honour and is rewarded by his king Hygelac. Ultimately he himself becomes king of the Geatas, and fifty years later slays a dragon and is slain by it. The poem closes with an account of the funeral rites.

Fantastic as these stories are, they are depicted against a background of what appears to be fact. Incidentally, and in a number of digressions, we receive much information about the Geatas, Swedes and Danes: all which information has an appearance of historic accuracy, and in some cases can be proved, from external evidence, to be historically accurate.

This carefully crafted ebook: “Beowulf: complete bilingual edition including the original anglo-saxon edition + 3 modern english translations + an extensive study of the poem + footnotes, index and alphabetical glossary” contains 5 books in one volume and is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Beowulf is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century. In 1731, the manuscript was badly damaged by a fire that swept through a building housing a collection of Medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton. The poem's existence for its first seven centuries or so made no impression on writers and scholars, and besides a brief mention in a 1705 catalogue by Humfrey Wanley it was not studied until the end of the eighteenth century, and not published in its entirety until the 1815 edition prepared by the Icelandic-Danish scholar Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland. The numerous different translations and interpretations of Beowulf turn this monumental work into a challenge for the reader. This ebook contains 5 books in one ebook: 1) By Anonymous, edited by Alfred John Wyatt: "Beowulf". This is the anglo-saxon original version based on the autotypes (facsimilies) in Julius Zupitza’s edition of 1882. 2) By John Lesslie Hall: "Beowulf - An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem". This is a 1892 translation of Beowulf into modern english with notes and comments. 3) By William Morris: "The Tale of Beowulf - Sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats". This is an 1895 translation of Beowulf into modern english with notes and comments. 4) By: Francis Barton Gummere: "Beowulf". This is a 1910 translation of Beowulf into modern english , with notes and comments. 5) By: Raymond Wilson Chambers: "Beowulf - An Introduction to the Study of the Poem with a Discussion of the Stories of Offa and Finn".
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