Rough translation of lines 675 – 687

21 Sep 2007

He spoke then, the man of goodness, some boastful words, Beowulf of the Geats, before he went to bed bedded down. “I myself, one of in regards to martial prowess, do not consider myself any less battle-keen lowlier in war work than the Grendel himself. Therefore, I will not have him put to sleep sleeped by the sword, although I may be deprived of deprive him of his life in that way. He knows nothing of good things, that he strikes against me, hews the shield’s edge, though he may be strong in the way of spite rancorwork he may be. Tonight the two of us shall forgo the blade, if he seeks bold war over weapons, and afterward God in his wisdom, in the hand of whomever the holy lord deems the glory, so to him it is properly, I should think methinks.”


19 Sep 2007

“Eoton” is probably most easily and commonly translated as “giant,” on the basis, it would seem, that its etymological ancestor is the “Jotun” of Norse mythology, who were creatures of godlike strength who dwelt in dark places. Someone has suggested that the Proto-Germanic word for “jötunn” (Old Norse), which is “etunaz,” may have the same root as “etan,” or “to eat,” and accordingly had the original meaning of glutton or “man-eater.” Unfortunately, the source for this assertion is lost, so for now it goes unsupported. Further research will be needed.

Whatever the truth, I think “giant” is a poor translation. Giants in our contemporary English are part of a child’s imagination. If you read that, for the night, the king’s own soldiers offered “eotonward,” or protection against invading giants, you would laugh. The context in which the word “eoton” appears may indeed warrant comedy: the Great King Hrothgar, to some scholars’ readings, cowers in bed behind his men, while Beowulf antithetically lays down his sword so that Grendel and he can have a fair fight. Grave, though, is the threat of being eaten to the Beowulf-poet. The text invariably treats the concept seriously. “Eoton” may be better translated as “man-eater,” especially since in our minds a giant is false, but a cannibal very real.

Rough translation of lines 662 – 674

19 Sep 2007

Then Hrothgar went with his troop of warriors, elder protector of the Shieldings, out of the hall. The war-chief wished to seek Welltheow, the queen for his bedmate. The glory of kings king of glory had, so men heard, a hall-guard set against Grendel; they held special service around the elder protector of the Danes, and offered protection from man-eaters. However, the leader of the Geats Geat people readily trusted a stalwart strength trusted in the brave one’s might, and the measurer’s grace. He took off the metal mailcoat, his helmet from his head, and gave his hursted sword, made of choicest iron, and his battlegear to a military officer vassal to hold.


16 Sep 2007

Translation Project: Beowulf and the Grendel Kin

A short 1-2 paragraph response is due at 11:30pm every Wednesday before a meeting with the thesis adviser.

9.6 – Planning Meeting

9.13 – “The Philologer Poet: Seamus Heaney and the Translation of Beowulf.”

9.20 – Rough translation: lines 678-748
“Prey Tell: How Heroes Perceive Monsters in Beowulf.”
“Beowulf and the Psychology of Terror.”

9.27 – Rough translation: lines 749-852

10.4 – Rough translation: lines 1232 – 1332

10.11 – Rough translation: lines 1333 – 1433

10.18 – October Break

10.25 – Complete rough translation due (including 1434-1650)

11.8 – Final rough draft of the critical introduction due

11.15 –

11.22 –

11.29 – Polished translation due

12.6 – Final draft of the critical introduction due

12.10 – (unconfirmed) Final Thesis due in the English Dept Office before 4:00pm