A widely celebrated translator's vivid, accessible, and elegantly concise rendering of an ancient English masterpiece Beowulf tells the story of a Scandinavian hero who defeats three evil creatures-a huge, cannibalistic ogre named Grendel, Grendel's monstrous mother, and a dragon-and then dies, mortally wounded during his last encounter.
If the definition of a superhero is "someone who uses his special powers to fight evil," then Beowulf is our first English superhero story, and arguably our best.
It is also a deeply pious poem, so bold in its reverence for a virtuous pagan past that it teeters on the edge of heresy.
From beginning to end, we feel we are in the hands of a master storyteller.
Stephen Mitchell's marvelously clear and vivid rendering re-creates the robust masculine music of the original.
It both hews closely to the meaning of the Old English and captures its wild energy and vitality, not just as a deep "work of literature" but also as a rousing entertainment that can still stir our feelings and rivet our attention today, after more than a thousand years. This new translation-spare, sinuous, vigorous in its narration, and translucent in its poetry-makes a masterpiece accessible to everyone.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 264 pages, 2 b-w illus.
- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Publication Date: 03/11/2017
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780300228885