Presentation on theme: "Béowulf MS Cotton Vitelius A.xv of the British Museum Bound together with Judith Standard edition and probably still the best: Beowulf and the Finnsburg."— Presentation transcript:
Béowulf MS Cotton Vitelius A.xv of the British Museum Bound together with Judith Standard edition and probably still the best: Beowulf and the Finnsburg Fragment. ed. Fr. Klaeber. Boston: C.D. Heath and Co., 1922. Third Edition with First and Second Supplements 1950. Often reprinted, most recently 2008 re-edited by Fulk, Bjork and Niles. 3183 long lines = 6366 half-lines
Béowulf Mythical beginnings of the Danish line of kings: Scyld, Beowulf....... Healfdene. Hróðgár 473-525 (Hróar), succeeds his brother Heorogár (Hjörgeir) 500 Wealhþéow, his Queen. Hróðgár builds Heorot (possibly Hleiðr /Hleiðargarður, Lat. Lethra, “now a tiny, wretched village, Lejre” (Klaeber) southwest of Roskilde (Hróarskelda Sele hlífade héah ond horngéap, heaðowylma bád láðes líges81-3
Béowulf The monster Grendel who lives up in the misty moors, harries Heorot by night, killing and eating Hróðgár’s men. Beowulf, son of Ecgþéow (Eggþér) and nephew of Hygelác King of the Geats /Gautar (Hugleikr, 475-521, recorded as having harried in France), hears of Hróðgár’s troubles and sets sail (from Göteborg?) with his men to come to Hróðgár’s aid.
Marijane Osborn 1986. Beowulf, A Guide to Study. Los Angeles: Pentangle
Béowulf Beowulf and his men are feasted at Heorot. Beowulf is taunted by Hóðgárs þyle Unferð Eart þú sé Béowulf sé wið Brecan wunne...? and in response recounts the “true” story of his swimming exploit with Breca. Hwaet þú worn fela wíne mín Unferð béore gedruncen ymb Brecan sprǽce 530-1
Béowulf Grendel visits Heorot at night. Com on wanre niht scríðan sceadugenga 703-4 Grendel kills and eats one of Beowulf’s ment – his name in not mentioned at this point. Beowulf wrestles with Grendel and tears off his arm and shoulder. Grendel escapes mortally wounded to his mere. The Geats and Danes rejoice in Heorot
Béowulf Grendel’s mother visits Heorot at night, klling Æschere.
Béowulf Beowulf sets out with hs men and the Danes to Grendel’s mere. Flód blóde weal – fólc tó sǽgon – hátan heolfre The water-creatures flee at the sound of the horns Beowulf is given Unferð’s sword Hrunting / Hrotti wæs þǽm hæftméce Hrunting nama 1457 He gives a short speech to Hróðgár and dives into Grendel’s mere. He is “a good part of the day” (hwíl dæges) dving to the bottom
Béowulf At the bottom, he is attacked by Grendel’s mother, who carries him off to her cave. There is a fire burnng in the cave Beowulf attacks her with Hruntng, but the sword (beadoléoma, battle-gleam) fails him
Béowulf Beowulf and Grendel’s mother wrestle: Gefeng þá be eaxle – nalæs for fǽhðe mearn – Gúð-geata léod Grendles módor 1537-8 Beowulf sees an ancient sword in a pile of treasure Geseah þá on searwum sigeéadig bil ealdsword eotonisc 1557-8
Béowulf He takes the sword and kills Grendel’s mother, at whch a light flashes: Lixte se léoma léaht inne stód efne swá og hefene hadre scíneð rodores candel 1570 He finds Grendel´s dead body and cuts his head off
Béowulf The watchers above see the surface of the lake heave, mingled with blood. Hróðgár assumes Beowulf is dead, and sadly sets off ome with hs mean. The Geats wait. Beowulf appears in the water with Grendel’s head. A great feast in Heorot. A scóp recites the story of Finn. Long speeches.
Béowulf Beowulf and hs men return to Geatland laden wth gifts from Hróðgár. Beowulf tells Hygelac the whole story (150 lines), including new detail (Freawaru, Hróðgar’s gift og Hearogar’s armour, and the dead Geat’s name, Hondscioh. Also a mysterious “glóf” owned by Grendel is involved. From line 2200, last third of the poem: 50 years later Beowulf is King of the Geats. Hs kingdom is attacked by a dragon. With one follower he attacks and kills the dragon, but loses his life. The Geats lament. Without their king, they know they wll be overcome by the Swedes.
Bjólfskviða Halldóra B[einteinsdóttir] Björnsson 1907- 1968 Second of eight brothers and sisters, 6 of whom published collections of poetry Sveinbjörn Beintensson alsherjagoði and rímnaskáld 1924-1993
Bjólfskviða Finishes her translation of Beowulf shortly before her death. Published 1983, ed. PK. wth illustrations by Alfreð Flóki
Halldóra B. Björnsson Well versed in Old Icelandic literature and rímur ballad poetry, but had read little in Old English The similarties between Old English and Icelandic enable Halldóra to make a close metrical translation.
Þa wæs Hroðgare heresped gyfen, wiges weorðmynd, þæt him his winemagas georne hyrdon, oðð þæt seo geogoð geweox, magodriht micel. Him on mod bearn þæt healreced hatan wolde, medoærn micel, men gewyrcean þonne yldo bearn æfre gefrunon, Beowulf lines 64-70
Then was unto Hrothgar the war-speed given, Such worship of war that his kin and well-willers Well hearken'd his will till the younglings were waxen, A kin-host a many. Then into his mind ran That he would be building for him now a hall-house, That men should be making a mead-hall more mighty 70 Than the children of ages had ever heard tell of, The Tale of Beowulf Done Out of the Old English Tongue. Trans. By William Morris and A. J. Wyatt. Kelmscott Press, 1895
Þá var Hróðgeiri herlán gefið, víga virðing svo að vinmágar hans forystu fylgdu og af frændum óx mögdrótt mikil. Móður honum svall, höll skyldi reisa heit það strengdi, mjöðrann mikinn mengi láta húsa... meiri en aldabörn áður vissu, Halldóra Björnsson
Halldóra B. Björnsson PK, “The Intimacy of Bjólfskvða” in Beowulf at Kalamazoo. Essays on translation and performance. Michigan 2012.
Béowulf why not “greip þá í öxl”? bæxl, ‘the shoulder of a dragon, whale, shark or the like (Vigfússon and Cleasby) Gull-Þóris saga (14th cent.)
why not “greip þá í öxl”? bæxl, ‘the shoulder of a dragon, whale, shark or the like (Vigfússon and Cleasby)
Gull-Þóris sag (14th cent.) Chapter 5: Gull-þórir and his comrades enter the cave dragons guarding Stuated in a deep gorge into whch Þórir descends by rope (Beowulf’s daylong descent into the lake Entrance behnd a mighty waterfall through which they force themselves Þórir conjures up a magic light; there is a magnificent light from the treasure (Beowulf’s sword) and the dragons fall asleep
They see the hilts of swords standing up out of the treasure They take the swords and plunge them into the dragons’ “bæxl” Flashes of light seen by the men waiting above the gorge, who fear for their comrades’ lives (blood wells up in Grendel’s lake) Beowulf’s sword Hruntng s called a “hæftmece” which is a hapax; Björnson uses “heftimækir” which is a hapax in Grettis Saga Þórir’s companion Hyrnngur is injured in the foot by poisonous dragon’s blood; Þórir heals him by passing his hands, clad in magic gloves, over the wounds – one of Beowulf’s companions Honscio is killed in the fight in the Heorot wth Grendel