Epic of Beowulf Essay - Foreign and English Translations and Versions of Beowulf

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Foreign and English Translations and Versions of Beowulf

From 1805 until the present there have been introduced an abundance of paraphrases, translations, adaptations, summaries, versions and illustrations of Beowulf in modern English and in foreign languages due mostly to two reasons: the desire to make the poem accessible, and the desire to read the exotic (Osborn 341). It is the purpose of this essay to present a brief history of this development of the popularity of the poem and then compare some of the translations with respect to some more difficult passages in the poem Beowulf.

In 1805 Sharon Turner included some passages from Beowulf in his The History of the Anglo-Saxons; he increased the text in later
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Now let’s make a comparison between translations for some passages which translators might show disagreement about because of the lack of clarity or missing fragments of text or abundance of synonyms or ambiguous referents.

After the Danish coast-guard meets and talks to Beowulf, the guard then begins his next speech with a brief maxim or aphorism:

Aeghwaepres sceal

scearp scyldwiga gescad witan,

worda ond worca, se pe wel penced. (287-289)

T.A. Shippey comments in “The World of the Poem” that :

Translating this ought not to be difficult…. The problem here is caused by the fact
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