Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beowulf Presentation

What was the most surprising or interesting fact, idea, comment you learned from Group 1's presentation on Tolkien's translation of Beowulf?

4 comments:

Varda said...

I have not read this story in a long time, and I don't think I fully appreciated it the first time around, so I really enjoyed hearing a plot synopsis and the group's analysis because I am now thinking I should go back and reread the story. More importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the comparisons that can be drawn between Beowulf and the characters in Tolkien's works. When I read Beowulf, I unfortunately did not read the Tolkien version, and I never would have thought to draw parallels between the story and Tolkien's legendarium before listening to this presentation.

Vairë said...

I applaud this group as the first to present on a translated work in which Tolkien could not perform overt plot manipulation and thus could not be called its author. They compared admirably between his work and the ancient tale, and I was surprised to revisit the use of ancient meter. I had forgotten this aspect of Tolkien's work in the reading. It inspires me to try writing an epic in meter.

Nessa said...

I thought it was interesting to see how Tolkien's perspective of Beowulf's character changes the way that he translates the tale. I tend to view characters as heroes when I can, so I think I would like to read Tolkien's edition! It also makes me wonder what his classes were like. I have heard he was not a superb teacher, but it seems that he did a lot of preparation!

Manwë said...

I think that one of the most interesting points from the presentation was the complete dedication that Tolkien had to keep his translation true to both the actual formation and structure of the text, as well as retaining the feeling and motivations behind the text. It seems almost obsessive how he tried to keep true to form- and then after that still not being satisfied with what you've spent your life working on. It really reminds me of Dante's Divina Commedia and how he used the terza rima scheme for 14,233 lines(!).
It was also very interesting that how such dedication influenced his other works- as if Beowulf was always in the back of his mind. I particularly liked that he included the dragon/thief scene in The Hobbit, it just seems like a cute little reference- and I imagine him being super pleased with himself that he was able to connect his work so directly with Beowulf.