Reading Beowulf

By , September 5, 2010

I am a bookworm. I devoured Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion avidly, along with many other works of fantasy. I particularly enjoy those with roots in myth and folklore, such as Nancy Farmer’s Sea of Trolls. Luckily, I found the myths themselves to be just as entertaining. I’m always on the lookout for something new to read.

(photo: Aly Zeiger)

Thus, I began to search out the older stories. I recently bought a copy of Beowulf, which contains both the Anglo-Saxon and the modern English translation. I like this aspect so much that I haven’t read the entire story through yet. I keep switching from one language to the other, enjoying the formality of the words.  I keep running into familiar words and names. When at one point I see in the Anglo-Saxon text “théoden Hrothgar” I laugh, because Hrothgar, king of the golden hall, lent his name to a character in the Inheritance series, by Christopher Paolini and in The Lord of The Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien named all the kings of Rohan with various Anglo-Saxon words for king. I adore authors that can make you laugh even when you aren’t reading their books.

Even though Beowulf is one of our language’s oldest pieces of literature, I, a mostly modern teen, can still enjoy reading it. And that, in my opinion, is how literature should be.

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