Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Review: Beowulf

Book: Beowulf (unknown author)
Genre: Epic/Classic
Published: between the 8th-11th A.D.
How I Got the Book: Read for a British Lit class

Synopsis (from b& Part history and part mythology, Beowulf opens in the court of the Danish king where a horrible demon named Grendel devours men in their sleep every night. The hero Beowulf arrives and kills the monster, but joy turns to horror when Grendel’s mother attacks the hall to avenge the death of her son. Ultimately triumphant, Beowulf becomes king himself and rules peacefully for fifty years until, one dark day, a foe more powerful than any he has yet faced is aroused—an ancient dragon guarding a horde of treasure. Once again, Beowulf must summon all his strength and courage to face the beast, but this time victory exacts a terrible price.

My Thoughts: I was forced to read this. It was for a class, and I had a general idea of what it entailed. Even translated this is hard to get through. Endless amount of bloodlines (because omg! it was the most important thing everrrr back then) and allusions to wars and territories are discussed. Ugh. I know I know, I am an English major...but it sucks that this above all manuscripts survived so long. This book was too patriarchal and had too much testosterone for my liking. The so called action and adventure was not to my liking either. There was nothing I liked about Beowulf at all.

Characters: Vaguely sketched I would say more like cartoon characters. As I said above there is more emphasis on who is related to who and ancestry. Which, thank God, we evolved from in the modern society. Grendal was an alright villain/monster and his mother was pretty creepy so I was only moderately interested when they were in the text.

Cover Art: I included a picture but my edition had no cover...I read it out of an anthology.



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