The best-known example of English oral tradition is the folk epic Beowulf, all traditional epics have been simplified, both as far as their language and as far as. Forms of betsta occur in three Beowulf passages: (vocative) secg betsta (Beowulf 17 Ultimately the cluster -tst in betst was simplified to -st thus leading to the. - Beowulf: Das angelsächsische Heldenlied (Reclam Taschenbuch) | Frey, Johannes, Frey, Johannes, Frey, Johannes | ISBN:
Oral tradition to literatureMelvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. for Teaching Writing Great way for any writer to clearly organize a simple. Forms of betsta occur in three Beowulf passages: (vocative) secg betsta (Beowulf 17 Ultimately the cluster -tst in betst was simplified to -st thus leading to the. Finden Sie Top-Angebote für Beowulf: A Übersetzung Und Commentary, Zusammen Mit Sellic Jerusalem: A Simplified Version mit Commentary und Hinweise.
Beowulf Simplified You must create an account to continue watching VideoBeowulf - Summary \u0026 Analysis
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ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. DPReview Digital Photography. Beowulf later becomes a king. He fights a dragon that was living in a barrow.
With the help of the young man Wiglaf, Beowulf kills the dragon. Beowulf is wounded in the final battle and dies and crowns Wiglaf as his successor. The story of Beowulf has often been told in books, plays, and films.
Sometimes the full story is told, sometimes just parts of the story. Sometimes the plot is altered. Sometimes only ideas or themes are taken from the story.
Some examples are:. From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the epic story.
External Websites. British Library - Beowulf Poetry Foundation - "Beowulf" Classical Literature - Beowulf. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History.
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Beowulf , considered the greatest Old English poem, is sometimes assigned to this age, but the dating is uncertain. Art flourished, with a combination of native elements and influences from Ireland and the Mediterranean.
The Hiberno-Saxon or Anglo-Irish style of manuscript illumination was evolved, its greatest…. The poem is known only from a single manuscript, estimated to date from around —, in which it appears with other works.
The Beowulf manuscript is known as the Nowell Codex, gaining its name from 16th-century scholar Laurence Nowell. The official designation is " British Library , Cotton Vitellius A.
XV" because it was one of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton 's holdings in the Cotton library in the middle of the 17th century.
Many private antiquarians and book collectors, such as Sir Robert Cotton, used their own library classification systems.
XV" translates as: the 15th book from the left on shelf A the top shelf of the bookcase with the bust of Roman Emperor Vitellius standing on top of it, in Cotton's collection.
Kevin Kiernan argues that Nowell most likely acquired it through William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , in , when Nowell entered Cecil's household as a tutor to his ward, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
The earliest extant reference to the first foliation of the Nowell Codex was made sometime between and by Franciscus Junius the younger.
The ownership of the codex before Nowell remains a mystery. The Reverend Thomas Smith — and Humfrey Wanley — both catalogued the Cotton library in which the Nowell Codex was held.
Smith's catalogue appeared in , and Wanley's in In the letter to Wanley, Hickes responds to an apparent charge against Smith, made by Wanley, that Smith had failed to mention the Beowulf script when cataloguing Cotton MS.
Vitellius A. Hickes replies to Wanley "I can find nothing yet of Beowulph. It suffered damage in the Cotton Library fire at Ashburnham House in Since then, parts of the manuscript have crumbled along with many of the letters.
Rebinding efforts, though saving the manuscript from much degeneration, have nonetheless covered up other letters of the poem, causing further loss.
Kiernan, in preparing his electronic edition of the manuscript, used fibre-optic backlighting and ultraviolet lighting to reveal letters in the manuscript lost from binding, erasure, or ink blotting.
The Beowulf manuscript was transcribed from an original by two scribes, one of whom wrote the prose at the beginning of the manuscript and the first lines before breaking off in mid sentence.
The first scribe made a point of carefully regularizing the spelling of the original document by using the common West Saxon language and by avoiding any archaic or dialectical features.
The second scribe, who wrote the remainder, with a difference in handwriting noticeable after line , seems to have written more vigorously and with less interest.
As a result, the second scribe's script retains more archaic dialectic features, which allow modern scholars to ascribe the poem a cultural context.
In the way that it is currently bound, the Beowulf manuscript is followed by the Old English poem Judith. Judith was written by the same scribe that completed Beowulf as evidenced through similar writing style.
Wormholes found in the last leaves of the Beowulf manuscript that are absent in the Judith manuscript suggest that at one point Beowulf ended the volume.
The rubbed appearance of some leaves suggest that the manuscript stood on a shelf unbound, as was the case with other Old English manuscripts.
The question of whether Beowulf was passed down through oral tradition prior to its present manuscript form has been the subject of much debate, and involves more than simply the issue of its composition.
Rather, given the implications of the theory of oral-formulaic composition and oral tradition, the question concerns how the poem is to be understood, and what sorts of interpretations are legitimate.
Scholarly discussion about Beowulf in the context of the oral tradition was extremely active throughout the s and s. The debate might be framed starkly as follows: on the one hand, we can hypothesise a poem put together from various tales concerning the hero the Grendel episode, the story of Grendel's mother, and the fire drake narrative.
These fragments would have been told for many years in tradition, and learned by apprenticeship from one generation of illiterate poets to the next. The poem is composed orally and extemporaneously, and the archive of tradition on which it draws is oral, pagan, Germanic, heroic, and tribal.
On the other hand, one might posit a poem which is composed by a literate scribe, who acquired literacy by way of learning Latin and absorbing Latinate culture and ways of thinking , probably a monk and therefore profoundly Christian in outlook.
On this view, the pagan references would be a sort of decorative archaising. The scholar D. Crowne proposed that the poem was passed down from reciter to reciter, the theory of oral-formulaic composition, which holds that epic poems were at least to some extent improvised by whoever was reciting them, and only much later written down.
This exhaustive analysis is in itself sufficient to prove that Beowulf was composed orally. Examination of Beowulf and other Old English literature for evidence of oral-formulaic composition has met with mixed response.
While "themes" inherited narrative subunits for representing familiar classes of event, such as the "arming the hero",  or the particularly well-studied "hero on the beach" theme  do exist across Anglo-Saxon and other Germanic works, some scholars conclude that Anglo-Saxon poetry is a mix of oral-formulaic and literate patterns, arguing that the poems both were composed on a word-by-word basis and followed larger formulae and patterns.
Larry Benson argued that the interpretation of Beowulf as an entirely formulaic work diminishes the ability of the reader to analyse the poem in a unified manner, and with due attention to the poet's creativity.
Instead, he proposed that other pieces of Germanic literature contain "kernels of tradition" from which Beowulf borrows and expands upon.
John Miles Foley wrote of the Beowulf debate that while comparative work was both necessary and valid, it must be conducted with a view to the particularities of a given tradition; Foley argued with a view to developments of oral traditional theory that do not assume, or depend upon, ultimately unverifiable assumptions about composition, and instead delineate a more fluid continuum of traditionality and textuality.
Finally, in the view of Ursula Schaefer, the question of whether the poem was "oral" or "literate" is something of a red herring. Schaefer's concept of "vocality" offers neither a compromise nor a synthesis of the views which see the poem as on the one hand Germanic, pagan, and oral and on the other Latin-derived, Christian, and literate, but, as stated by Monika Otter: "a 'tertium quid', a modality that participates in both oral and literate culture yet also has a logic and aesthetic of its own.
Many editions of the Old English text of Beowulf have been published; this section lists the most influential.
He made one himself, and had another done by a professional copyist who knew no Old English and was therefore in some ways more likely to make transcription errors, but in other ways more likely to copy exactly what he saw.
Since that time, the manuscript has crumbled further, making these transcripts prized witnesses to the text. While the recovery of at least letters can be attributed to them, their accuracy has been called into question, [c] and the extent to which the manuscript was actually more readable in Thorkelin's time is uncertain.
In , Frederick Klaeber published his edition Beowulf and The Fight at Finnsburg ;  it became the "central source used by graduate students for the study of the poem and by scholars and teachers as the basis of their translations.
Another widely used edition is Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie 's, published in in the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records series. The tightly-interwoven structure of Old English poetry makes translating Beowulf a severe technical challenge.
Andy Orchard, in A Critical Companion to Beowulf , lists 33 "representative" translations in his bibliography,  while the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies published Marijane Osborn 's annotated list of over translations and adaptations in By , the Beowulf's Afterlives Bibliographic Database listed some translations and other versions of the poem.
In , the historian Sharon Turner translated selected verses into modern English. Grundtvig reviewed Thorkelin's edition in and created the first complete verse translation in Danish in Wyatt published the ninth English translation.
In , Francis Barton Gummere 's full translation in "English imitative metre" was published,  and was used as the text of Gareth Hinds's graphic novel based on Beowulf in In , John Porter published the first complete verse translation of the poem entirely accompanied by facing-page Old English.
Seamus Heaney 's translation of the poem Beowulf: A New Verse Translation , called "Heaneywulf" by Howell Chickering and many others,  was both praised and criticized.
The US publication was commissioned by W. Many retellings of Beowulf for children appeared in the 20th century. In 2nd edition , the scholar Roy Liuzza published his own version of Beowulf in a parallel text with the Old English,  with his analysis of the poem's historical, oral, religious and linguistic contexts.
Fulk, of Indiana University , published a facing-page edition and translation of the entire Nowell Codex manuscript in Hugh Magennis's Translating Beowulf: Modern Versions in English Verse discusses the challenges and history of translating the poem,   as well as the question of how to approach its poetry,  and discusses several post verse translations,  paying special attention to those of Edwin Morgan ,  Burton Raffel ,  Michael J.
Alexander ,  and Seamus Heaney. Tolkien's long-awaited translation edited by his son, Christopher was published in as Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.
The book includes Tolkien's own retelling of the story of Beowulf in his tale, Sellic Spell , but not his incomplete and unpublished verse translation.
The Mere Wife , by Maria Dahvana Headley , was published in It relocates the action to a wealthy community in 20th century America and is told primarily from the point of view of Grendel's mother.
Neither identified sources nor analogues for Beowulf can be definitively proven, but many conjectures have been made.
These are important in helping historians understand the Beowulf manuscript, as possible source-texts or influences would suggest time-frames of composition, geographic boundaries within which it could be composed, or range both spatial and temporal of influence i.
There are Scandinavian sources, international folkloric sources, and Celtic sources. But Scandinavian works have continued to be studied as a possible source.
Axel Olrik claimed that on the contrary, this saga was a reworking of Beowulf , and others followed suit. Lawrence to reposition his view, and entertain the possibility that certain elements in the saga such as the waterfall in place of the mere retained an older form.
Andersson Another candidate for an analogue or possible source is the story of Hrolf Kraki and his servant, the legendary bear- shapeshifter Bodvar Bjarki.
Hrolf Kraki, one of the Scyldings , even appears as "Hrothulf" in the Anglo-Saxon epic. Hence a story about him and his followers may have developed as early as the 6th century.
Friedrich Panzer wrote a thesis that the first part of Beowulf the Grendel Story incorporated preexisting folktale material, and that the folktale in question was of the Bear's Son Tale Bärensohnmärchen type, which has surviving examples all over the world.
This tale type was later catalogued as international folktale type , now formally entitled "The Three Stolen Princesses" type in Hans Uther's catalogue, although the "Bear's Son" is still used in Beowulf criticism, if not so much in folkloristic circles.
However, although this folkloristic approach was seen as a step in the right direction, "The Bear's Son" tale has later been regarded by many as not a close enough parallel to be a viable choice.
Jorgensen, looking for a more concise frame of reference, coined a "two-troll tradition" that covers both Beowulf and Grettis saga : "a Norse ' ecotype ' in which a hero enters a cave and kills two giants, usually of different sexes";  this has emerged as a more attractive folk tale parallel, according to a assessment by Andersson.
The epic's similarity to the Irish folktale "The Hand and the Child" was noted in by Albert S. Cook , and others even earlier. No such correspondence could be perceived in the Bear's Son Tale or in the Grettis saga.
Mark Scowcroft notes that the tearing off of the monster's arm without a weapon is found only in Beowulf and fifteen of the Irish variants of the tale; he identifies twelve parallels between the tale and Beowulf.
Attempts to find classical or Late Latin influence or analogue in Beowulf are almost exclusively linked with Homer 's Odyssey or Virgil 's Aeneid.
In , Albert S. Cook suggested a Homeric connection due to equivalent formulas, metonymies , and analogous voyages.
Work supported the Homeric influence, stating that encounter between Beowulf and Unferth was parallel to the encounter between Odysseus and Euryalus in Books 7—8 of the Odyssey, even to the point of both characters giving the hero the same gift of a sword upon being proven wrong in their initial assessment of the hero's prowess.
This theory of Homer's influence on Beowulf remained very prevalent in the s, but started to die out in the following decade when a handful of critics stated that the two works were merely "comparative literature",  although Greek was known in late 7th century England: Bede states that Theodore of Tarsus , a Greek, was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in , and he taught Greek.
Several English scholars and churchmen are described by Bede as being fluent in Greek due to being taught by him; Bede claims to be fluent in Greek himself.
Frederick Klaeber , among others, argued for a connection between Beowulf and Virgil near the start of the 20th century, claiming that the very act of writing a secular epic in a Germanic world represents Virgilian influence.
Virgil was seen as the pinnacle of Latin literature, and Latin was the dominant literary language of England at the time, therefore making Virgilian influence highly likely.
It cannot be denied that Biblical parallels occur in the text, whether seen as a pagan work with "Christian colouring" added by scribes or as a "Christian historical novel, with selected bits of paganism deliberately laid on as 'local colour'", as Margaret E.
Goldsmith did in "The Christian Theme of Beowulf ". The poem mixes the West Saxon and Anglian dialects of Old English, though it predominantly uses West Saxon, as do other Old English poems copied at the time.
There is a wide array of linguistic forms in the Beowulf manuscript. It is this fact that leads some scholars to believe that Beowulf has endured a long and complicated transmission through all the main dialect areas.
Considerably more than one-third of the total vocabulary is alien from ordinary prose use. There are, in round numbers, three hundred and sixty uncompounded verbs in Beowulf , and forty of them are poetical words in the sense that they are unrecorded or rare in the existing prose writings.
One hundred and fifty more occur with the prefix ge - reckoning a few found only in the past-participle , but of these one hundred occur also as simple verbs, and the prefix is employed to render a shade of meaning which was perfectly known and thoroughly familiar except in the latest Anglo-Saxon period.
The nouns number sixteen hundred. Seven hundred of them, including those formed with prefixes, of which fifty or considerably more than half have ge -, are simple nouns, at the highest reckoning not more than one-quarter is absent in prose.
That this is due in some degree to accident is clear from the character of the words, and from the fact that several reappear and are common after the Norman Conquest.
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