A Comparative Study of Three Modern Translations of the Old English Lines (675-702) of Beowulf

Authors

  • Salim Eflih Al-Ibia Al al-Bayt University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18533/journal.v7i2.1337

Abstract

In this article, I compare the modern translations of lines (675-702) of Beowulf in Seamus Heaney’s 2000 translation, Roy Luizza’s 1999 translation, and Edwin Morgan’s 1952 translation. I begin with Morgan’s text since it is the earliest translation and ends with Heaney’s translation, as it is the most recent one. My evaluations for the three texts take into consideration the syntax, the poetic dictions and the approach used by Haney, Luizza and Morgan. I choose these lines in particular because these lines describe the confrontation with Grendel, and because an evaluation of the translations of the entire epic would be an overwhelming task. The article begins with a brief introduction to Old English structure and typological descriptions so we understand the challenge the aforementioned translators of Beowulf have met as they worked on the original manuscript and be able to acutely evaluate the final product of their translations of the aforementioned lines.Keywords: Old English, Beowulf, modern translations 

Author Biography

Salim Eflih Al-Ibia, Al al-Bayt University

English Department, Assistant Professor

References

References:

Barber, C. (1993). The English Language: A Historical Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Bradley, S.A.J. (1982). Anglo-Saxon Poetry: An Anthology of Old English, London: Dent.

Bright, W. (1992). International Encyclopaedia of Linguistics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burnley, J.D. (1992). The History of the English Language: A Source Book, London: Longman.

Chance, J. (1991). ‘Grendel’s mother as epic anti-type of the Virgin and the Queen’, in R.D. Fulk

Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology, Bloomington, IN: Indiana

University Press, pp. 251–63.

Fennell, B.A. (2001). A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach, Oxford: Blackwell

Publishers Ltd.

Heaney, Seamus (2000). Beowulf: A New Translation, London: Fiber & Fiber.

Hala, J. (1997). The Parturition of Poetry and the Birthing of Culture: The Ides Algoecwif and

Beowulf, London: Pegasus Press.

Hamer, R. (1970). A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse, London: Faber and Faber

Lass, R. (1994). Old English: A Historical Linguistic Companion, Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Lehmann, W.P. (1973). ‘A structural principle of language and its implications’, Language, 49:

–66.

Liuzza, R.M. (1999). Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, Canada: Broadview Press Ltd.

McMahon, A. (1994). Understanding Language Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press.

Morgan, Edwin (1952). Beowulf. London: The Hand and Flower Press.

Trask, L. (1996). Historical Linguistics, London: Arnold.

Treharne, E.M. and Pulsiano, P. (2001). A Companion to Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture,

London: Blackwell.

Downloads

Published

2018-03-06

Issue

Section

Article