|Sit & Savor||To-go|
|Ohmmm||Buckle Your Seatbelt|
|Easy Words||Advanced Vocabulary|
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I’ve heard Beowulf mentioned hundreds of times throughout my life in one way or another, so when it came up on my audiobook app I snapped it up.
Beowulf is the son of an honorable King, who passes away in the very beginning. He strives to live up to his father’s legacy and rules his kingdom well. Meanwhile, there’s another prosperous King who is throwing great feasts, which is making the evil demon Grendel angry. Beowulf sets out to destroy Grendel and his mother in an original dark age epic.
It’s important to understand before I begin that I loved The Canterbury Tales – and that I was the only person in my History of British Literature class who did. That said, I found this story delightful. It’s literally everything that you’d expect from an epic poem set in medieval times. Then again, it was likely first told in medieval times, making it a time capsule to a world that now exists more in myth than in memory.
Would I recommend it?
I believe that fans of fantasy – from The Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, to Game of Thrones – would get a kick out of this foundational book. It’s clear that authors have been drawing on this legend for centuries, and it has had a great influence on fantasy and our view of the medieval world. Plus, it’s not too long (audiobook was about 2.5 hours) so it’s a good option for people who want to dip their toe into medieval literature.
If you’re interested in trying out some medieval literature, before checking out or purchasing, read the first page or so of each. Pay attention to whether you are understanding the translation. If you have to work hard to understand the language, you may become frustrated and not fully enjoy the story. Perhaps opt for a version with commentary to help you pick up on things you may have missed.
Also, Beowulf is available for free on Kindle.
How did you feel about Beowulf? Did you have to read it in school? Have you reread it since?