Elements of Literature Sixth Course
LE0 12-1.1
from Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel
More from the Writer
Your Own Digital Beowulf
The only existing manuscript of Beowulf is locked up in a museum, but thanks to the Electronic Beowulf Project you can look at pages from this thousand-year-old manuscript right on your desktop. Check out the fascinating—and sometimes twisted—illustrations, and learn what secrets the librarians discovered in the process of digitizing the document.
Literature and History, page 28
The Fury of the Northmen
The Vikings were famous for their fierceness but were also celebrated for their shipbuilding. Their long, speedy ships helped them raid Anglo-Saxon villages—and haul the loot away in a hurry. Visit this Scientific American site and find out how Danish archaeologists recently discovered one of these ancient war machines right next door to the Viking Ship Museum.
Crossing the Curriculum: World Languages
There are strange sounds, hundreds of years old, that still creep into your mouth when you speak English. These sounds come from Old English, the original language of the epic of Beowulf. Would you be able to recognize words spoken in Old English? Today, some literature lovers still know how to speak it. Listen to them read poems in Old English, and imagine what it might have been like to hear Beowulf the way it was first told.
Crossing the Curriculum: Geography
Where in the World Is Northumbria?
Northumbria? Mercia? Wessex? England, at the time Beowulf was written, was very different than it is today. Look at this map of Anglo-Saxon England, and compare it to a map of the United Kingdom today. Do you think British people today could find their way around the Anglo-Saxon England of a thousand years ago?
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