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3.6 394
by Anonymous

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An Old English heroic epic poem composed by an Anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet back in the 8th and the early 11th century.

Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
leader beloved, and long he ruled
in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
away from the world, till awoke an heir,
haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
sage and


An Old English heroic epic poem composed by an Anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet back in the 8th and the early 11th century.

Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
leader beloved, and long he ruled
in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
away from the world, till awoke an heir,
haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
Then, one after one, there woke to him,
to the chieftain of clansmen, children four:
Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave;
and I heard that -- was -- 's queen,
the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear.
To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,
such honor of combat, that all his kin
obeyed him gladly till great grew his band
of youthful comrades. It came in his mind
to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,
a master mead-house, mightier far
than ever was seen by the sons of earth,
and within it, then, to old and young
he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,
save only the land and the lives of his men.
Wide, I heard, was the work commanded,
for many a tribe this mid-earth round,
to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered,
in rapid achievement that ready it stood there,
of halls the noblest: Heorot {1a} he named it
whose message had might in many a land.
Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt,
treasure at banquet: there towered the hall,
high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting
of furious flame. {1b} Nor far was that day
when father and son-in-law stood in feud
for warfare and hatred that woke again. {1c}
With envy and anger an evil spirit
endured the dole in his dark abode,
that he heard each day the din of revel
high in the hall: there harps rang out,
clear song of the singer. He sang who knew {1d}
tales of the early time of man,
how the Almighty made the earth,
fairest fields enfolded by water,
set, triumphant, sun and moon
for a light to lighten the land-dwellers,
and braided bright the breast of earth
with limbs and leaves, made life for all
of mortal beings that breathe and move.
So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel
a winsome life, till one began
to fashion evils, that field of hell.
Grendel this monster grim was called,
march-riever {1e} mighty, in moorland living,
in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
the hapless wight a while had kept
since the Creator his exile doomed.
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
Ill fared his feud, {1f} and far was he driven,
for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
Etins {1g} and elves and evil-spirits,
as well as the giants that warred with God
weary while: but their wage was paid them!

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Beowulf 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 394 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a book this small, it is thicker than a series. The story will captivate you from page one and hold your attention in gravely strong hands. I remember reading Beowulf as a child in school but could not remember it's allure and the reason for the epic effect when hearing the name 'Beowulf.' Now I remember. Unlike the movie (which was grade A mythology in my opinion) Beowulf the book portrays a character unlike any other that I've read about in any other epic novel. I was simply blown away. Read it if you dare.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon poem, its origin remaining undated (conjecture abounds as to the period in which it was written), is a supreme example of classic literature. Yes, the epic poem has dragons and demons and some other mythological creatures humans have devised over the centuries however, what astounding story comes without a brilliantly powerful antagonist (or, in Beowulf's case, arch-nemesis)? Footnotes add flavor to this delightful, classical, easy-read epic poem. For readers, English majors, and people seeking a literary thrill, this Anglo-Saxon classic stresses the importance of bravery a genuine understanding of life and death, and that each will visit every mortal being and, finally, the poetic splendor of honor by valor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was an amazing read. IT captivates you from the moment that you read the first page. You can relate to the characters, and the author does a great job describing the events in the book. You are able to place your self in the characters body and you can see what he/she is seeing through their eyes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of Beowulf is spellbinding and the Barnes and Noble classics series is a wonderful series. However, if you want to really enjoy Beowulf you must read the translation by Seamus Heaney. It really is the ultimate translation!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The original Beowulf was written in Anglo-Saxon, probably around 600 AD. (So it's not really that ancient-- not compared to Rome or Egypt.) Burton Raffel has done an excellent job translating it. The lines are almost musical, and they flow well. The storyline too, is fascinating. It's about a time when warriors were heroes, and cowards and mere murderers were despised. Being a fair maiden, I have a partiality for heroes who slay monsters! All books have 'tastes,' and I think this one tastes good.
NickTP More than 1 year ago
I got this book before realizing that my 12th grade english class was going to read some of it (out of the literature book). I would have gotten it after knowing anyways because I hate reading stuff out of the literature book (they always simplify everything (such as telling you that Beowulf was written in 900 A.D.; when the actual exact time it was written is a mystery). This is a great book! The background information on characters or objects or places provided in the book are excellent and well-presented. The introduction gives information that will greatly help you to understand the book (characters, ideals, literally devices used, etc.) And, (to top it all off) the size of the book is very convinient to carry around on the go. Thank you, NickTP
AmordeDios More than 1 year ago
This book is a classic and heroic tale, a timeless piece for any book collection or personal library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a very good book. i bought it cause a friend recommended it. i loved it, just dont go see the movie it is entirly diffrent from this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great classic! The tales of Beowulf's struggles make this book a quick read. I read the abridged version in my English class, and I immediately wanted to know the whole story. This edition was extremely helpful in explaining the difficult parts. It is easy to see why this was a favorite of Tolkien! If you are looking for a story filled with action and adventure, this a perfect choice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Beowulf is remarkable for its transparency: instead of an intrusive translator-persona competing with the original, McNamara's energies are entirely directed toward polish: finding the better word, the more harmonious cadence, the more evocative phrase. In so doing, he not only gives the reader a superior view of the letter and spirit of the original, but a superior feeling for Beowulf's poetic intangibles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, or poem, is indeed good. It has a complex hero who eventually becomes a king. But just as, if not more, memorable, are the monsters he faces. Grendel, his mother, and the dragon, are all captivating in their own right. One might consider them a metaphor for everyday 'demons'. It also has a religious subtext(as in God made and controls all things). Furthermore, it includes some 'stories-in-stories' so it doesn't just focus on fighting monsters. And yet...I couldn't help but feel sorry for the monsters just a little bit. You may feel differently.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend gave me this book to read, it is interesting. I recommend this book, goes well on a chilling night and warm fire.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the hero of this story, Beowulf also becomes the victim in a most peculiar way. Read and find out how.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beowulf is an interesting character. His strength is comparable to that of Hercules. He is self righteous, believing that god itself has given him this power, and guides him upon what he should do with it. But the intentions of which he uses his gift are of a more greedy purpose. Not just to fulfill gods will. But to use his gift to create a name that would last through the sands of time, being remembered for as long as the earth may age. His accomplishments were great, and contained nobility when he dealt with any enemy. Going into a battle with an unfair advantage was unsuitable to Beowulf. His reason partly ego, partly noble, proving that the beast he had slain had been on their own terms. This great warrior purged lands of tainted creatures, created by mans evil, but knew not the limits of his age, or his responsibility to the Geats. This would lead to the downfall of him, and his people. He set off to fight a mighty dragon. Something like his battle with Grendels mother. Which he had barely survived in his youth. Refusal to heed the warnings of those close, allowing his ego to condemn him. But assistance from a loyal follower kept him from dying in vain. Nevertheless the draw between Beowulf and the dragon led to the condemnation of his people. Although his kingdom contained hardy warriors, and great riches. Without the leadership of Beowulf and the fear contained within his allies the Geats could not withstand the numbers which plagued them after his death. His people slaughtered, throne devoured, and allies turned. Not due to the greed of which the dragon held the treasure, not to save innocent lives of which the dragon had taken, or to secure a future for his people, but to keep the preservation of his name.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A dark shape, looking vaguely humanoid, slunk through the shadows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She flew in shyly looking around. "Um, h-hello?" (Its meeeee)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Geez what are you two, bf/gf? Awh and it is valentines day! So sweet. Why dont you kiss already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
K seeya tomorrow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They excitedly watch the countries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He strides in, smiling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Sacre bleu!!" He cried out, smacking her once more. "Evil child!!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I guess I'd eat it... if that means I'll be with you more often," He catches his breath and blushes redder than one of Spain's tomatoes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I be eroupe or west indies...