The Last Words of Beowulf Comparison Essay by KW23

The Last Words of Beowulf
A comparison of the translations of lines 2799 and 2820 in "Beowulf: A New Prose Translation" by E. Talbot Donaldson, "Beowulf: A New Verse Translation" by R.M. Liuzza, and "Beowulf: A Verse Translation" by Seamus Heavey.
# 115146 | 2,195 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2008 | CA
Published on Jul 09, 2009 in Literature (Poetry) , Literature (World) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)


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Description:

This paper examines and compares three translations and interpretations of the passage between lines 2799 and 2820 - Beowulf's last scene and final words to the young warrior, Wiglaf. It analyzes "Beowulf: A New Prose Translation" by E. Talbot Donaldson, "Beowulf: A New Verse Translation" by R.M. Liuzza and "Beowulf: A Verse Translation" by Seamus Heavey.

From the Paper:

"Given that the translations of Liuzza and Heaney take the most substantial risks and embrace their stylistic decisions, it is understandable that the tensions between individual agency and historical determinism, between pagan and Christian, and between wyrd and divine predestination are thus considerably muted in Donaldson's interpretation of the passage between lines 2799 and 2820. In contrast, the translations of Liuzza and Heaney offer a significant interpretive contribution to our understanding of Beowulf's final words and death, and by extension to the birth of a new worldview that was emerging at that time. Nevertheless, each of these three translations offers both a reading and to a certain extent a resolution of the complexities between pagan notions of heroism and fate and the otherworldly implications of Christian doctrine. Having grasped the implications of each of these readings, we may follow them through to their logical conclusion to find that they each represent a certain position within this spectrum of tension between the worldviews of paganism and Christianity, and ultimately on the precarious position of personal choice and self-determination that permeate these tensions."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Donaldson, E. Talbot. Beowulf: A New Prose Translation. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 1966.
  • Heaney, Seamus. Edited by Daniel Donoghue. Beowulf: A Verse Translation. New York: W.W. Nortion & Company, 2002.
  • Liuzza, R.M. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Canada: Broadview Press, 2000.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

The Last Words of Beowulf (2009, July 09) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-last-words-of-beowulf-115146/

MLA Format

"The Last Words of Beowulf" 09 July 2009. Web. 06 February. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-last-words-of-beowulf-115146/>

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