Friday, January 11, 2008

Beowulf - What I didn't know

Dot Wordsworth, language columnist in the The Spectator, in her column of November 24, 2007 points out something I never knew, nor even thought about. Interesting though.

Beowulf is meant to be a courteous but fierce warrior. His name is literally ‘bee-wolf', or ‘bees' enemy'. This is merely a kenning, or poetic name, for ‘bear', since bears seek out honey, destroying bees' nests as they go.

A couple of good versions of Beowulf

Independent Reader

Beowulf the Warrior by Ian Serraillier and illustrated by Severin & Ian Serraillier Recommended

Young Adult

Beowulf by Seamus Heaney Recommended

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