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Beowulf and Other Old English Poems

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  424 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Unique and beautiful, Beowulf brings to life a society of violence and honor, fierce warriors and bloody battles, deadly monsters and famous swords. Written by an unknown poet in about the eighth century, this masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon literature transforms legends, myth, history, and ancient songs into the richly colored tale of the hero Beowulf, the loathsome man-eater ...more
Paperback, Bantam Revised Classic edition 2nd printing, 149 pages
Published September 1988 by Bantam Books
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Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok

to be fair, i didn't take this as an opportunity to re-read "beowulf." i much enjoyed seamus heaney's translation (Beowulf) my first time reading it and didn't feel like revisiting it. i just couldn't find another old english poetry collection to read. so, this is me giving 2.5 to the other old english poems from this book.

i think that, regardless of how much you might like this type of poetry, there is a sense of latitude too grand between us as readers to completely approach this text p
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this specific edition for GoT history class. My notes so far have mainly included similarities between Grendel and the white walkers; and Beowulf and Jon Snow. It's important to the people in this book that they know each other's lineages, and (no spoilers) Jon Snow's lineage is more important than his deeds as well.

Beowulf says "I have learned that the monster, in his recklessness, does not care to use weapons; then, so that Hygelac, my lord, may rejoice over me in his heart, I will sc
Oskhar Kholunga
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasía
La historia de un heroe que defiende el reino del rey del
Heroth al dar muerte al monstruo Grendel. Narra tambien el ascenso al poder del mismo, además de la venganza de la madre de Grendel y los funerales de Beowulf.
Nicholas Armstrong
Beowulf is interesting to me on several levels -- none of which happen to be about its quality as a piece of literature. First of all, there is the context of Beowulf; Beowulf was an oral epic before it was ever written, much like the early Greek stories, which meant it was based by word of mouth and for entertainment purposes. Keeping in mind that this was a story told again and again to entertain and please the people I don't think that many of the meanings attributed to it are very well found ...more
A.K. Klemm
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession: I never read Beowulf in high school. Or college. I read Canterbury Tales more times than I can count (yet only remember a handful of the stories). I read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ad nauseum - and I like that story. But no Beowulf. How did I miss it?

I’ll tell you how, we tried to cram so much into such a short amount of time. We spent hours and hours in school, but spent very little time actually studying. Somewhere along the way, Beowulf was lost to me. I’m not sure i
Nicholas Zacharewicz
Constance B. Hieatt’s Beowulf and Other Old English Poems shows its age. But, the quality of Hieatt’s translations makes it mostly timeless. All of her translations are in prose, yet this is hardly noticeable since her translations accurately represent the density of the originals. Hieatt’s Beowulf, for example, runs for only 78, compared to Seamus Heaney's 211 pages, but it is just as packed with effective litotes, kennings, and yes, alliteration.

This translation is definitely worth a read if y
Evan Dowell
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beowulf is a courageous man who was set to do good in the world and rid it of evils, such as the monster Grendal, and a mighty dragon. I thought this book was pretty good, I like old stories and all that stuff, this by far is one of my favorite. I enjoyed the Old English that it was written in, it made the book a little more challenging to read, which made me enjoy it even more! I only wish his story was longer, like say Percy Jackson's (however his is a different one) even though his main stori ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read a different translation of this, but this is the one I am adding. Sue me.

I also apparently picked the absolute worst translation in existence. It was *very* difficult to read for no good reason, and I read it aloud for comprehension, which took significantly longer than I expected it to -- there was a definite 'what have I gotten myself into' involved. I found it vaguely ironic that my very favorite bit was the part where Grendel was creeping up on the alehouse. Yep, rooting for the villa
Talbot Hook
The story is, of course, consonant with many things I hold dear. However, the choice to phrase the work in terms of prose, instead of a lyrical form, is strange to me, I must admit. That said, it was not without beautiful writing and translation, and the inclusion of other Old English poems (especially Pound's Seafarer, and The Wanderer) was a delightful addition to the Beowulf, as it helped give an idea of what the greater themes, concepts, and values of this age were-- and the picture these th ...more
Fatini Zulkifli
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-novel
I read this because of Sir JRR Tolkien. Beowulf inspired him to write The Hobbit and I found similarities between the two epic stories. Beowulf encountered fire-breathing dragon (who is the keeper of gold and treasures) became the most obvious part where it inspired Tolkien to create the dragon Smaug.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: class-3
Beowulf and Other Old English Poems. Bantam Revised Classic edition 2nd printing, 1968.
Theme: Adventure Greek mythology Classic
Review: I think this is a difficult read especially for a middle school early high school. It tends to go back and forth between stories without a solid story. Multiple stories but I like the one we read in HS much better. One story is enough to concentrate on.
Feb 15, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Beowulf is a classic and I am planning on reading this when I finish a few of the other books I am reading. My sister read this book when she was in high school and we also spoke about it in class. Since I have the book in my house I don't see any reason for me not to read it
Dec 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read this for school as my classic, and I found it very confusing. The book would jump around, and the author made up a word. It jumped around in people in the book. There was no solid main character(s). Once again I found it extremly confusing.
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sffrelated
If you read Beowulf in high school and wished you could understand it better, then Constance Hieatt's prose translation is for you...

Read my full review of this book as originally published on ARWZ by visiting the link below:

Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, own-pulp
Beowulf is of course a good read but the later poems that are heavily Christian are a bit boring to me. The Battle of Maldon felt like lots of genealogy and underlings exhorting on behalf of their dead lords.
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard read but very fun
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damn good story.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not this translation. Not sure which one, though.
Feb 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-fiction, classics
Important historically, but not a very fun read. I put it aside about 5 times before finally finishing it six years later.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Challenging for the amateur reader used to modern American vernacular.
Mandy Anderson
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story. My only complaint is that I prefer poetic translations of these old epics. I'm sure that this would be a great version for those who prefer prose translations. :)
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