Nikki's Reviews > The Death of King Arthur

The Death of King Arthur by Unknown
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's review
Jan 07, 12

bookshelves: myth-legend-saga-etc, medieval-literature, poetry
Read from January 04 to 06, 2012

I don't like this as much as Simon Armitage's other Middle English translation, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It's a more serious poem, I think, less playful and rich in language, but it's still pretty amazing. I can't speak for the quality of the translation right now, I haven't yet compared it with the Middle English -- I'm sure there have been liberties taken, but I think he gets across the tone of the original poem, at least. Sometimes his alliteration is a bit over the top, not quite obeying the rules; I'm not sure if the original poem is the same -- it might well be.

It's fun to read, and easy to follow -- probably less scholarly than Brian Stone's translation, and probably all the more readable for that. Interesting how much it reminds me of The Song of Roland, particularly the part where Arthur grieves over Gawain's death...
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