In Search of Beowulf Sites

There is always a difficulty when one reads a work of literature in another language. The Old English, having a different alphabet and very different pronunciation of words, is in essence a language foreign to modern English-speakers. Various scholars have provided their interpretations of Beowulf epic in Modern English. Translations vary in their accuracy and difficulty of reading. The Web provides a variety of information on a subject of Beowulf.

Beowulf being an Anglo-Saxon epic was originally declaimed before a gathering. The Web page was useful in that I was able to listen to the several excerpts in Old English. And whenever I forgot the pronunciation of some letters I referred to as well. It was also interesting to see what the original manuscript looks like for my general erudition on site.

When searching for the Beowulf Web pages, I encountered many sites. Among the various translations of the text the one that I like the most is the one found on site written by Dr. David Breeden. He uses simpler English than the one found in Norton Anthology. It was a very helpful supplement to the Norton Anthology's Beowulf.

Another very useful page is the "Legends" page at site for its multitude of links to sites ranging from Beowulf interpretations to Anglo-Saxon history and archeological finds. It came as a pleasant surprise to see this page having links to Pace University Beowulf pages. for example, is one of our class's sites.

Beowulf has not only been the object of high level scholarly studies but an object of ridicule as well. Several sites have mock-Beowulf scenarios: is the one that I bothered to waste my time on. The site proved to be a somewhat witty spoof on the current political issues with President Bill Clinton as Beowulf, Cookie Monster as Grendel, Michelle Pfeiffer as Grendel's mother, Boris Yeltsin as Wiglaf, Godzilla as the Fire Dragon, etc.

With an exception of site the rest of the sites I have mentioned are worthy of looking at and reading for general knowledge as well as classwork. The necessity of experiencing Beowulf read aloud is similar to the necessity of going to a live performance of famous violinist rather than purchasing his CDs. Understanding the work of literature is even more important than experiencing it. Thus, the pages with phonetics, audio clips and translations are important each in their own right.