Language Changes In Beowulf

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Languages have always changed and developed over long periods of time. Words and definitions change and eventually reaches a point when a whole new language is formed. When looking back at old writings of a certain language it is plain to see how much a language has changed. One example of this phenomenon is the epic poem Beowulf the first poem to ever be written in English. Despite being in English, it is incompressible compared to modern English meaning that it has to be translated to a more modern version of English. Many people have translated the poem, two examples being Seamus Heaney and Burton Raffel. Because they are separate translations, there are slight changes and deviations within the two translations. This can be best seen with the hero Beowulf. Though the two translations have their similarities such as Beowulf being portrayed as courageous and him believing in fate, they differ when it comes to Beowulf’s pridefulness.
One similarity between the two translations is the display of Beowulf’s courageousness. In Raffel’s version when Beowulf is preparing to fight Grendel he proudly proclaims to his men that he will fight Grendel alone. This displays Beowulf’s
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In Raffel’s version, Beowulf’s belief in fate can be seen near the end of his speech to Hrothgar. Near the end the end of the speech he states that fate will unwind as it must when he fights Grendel. This means that Beowulf believes that fate will decide if he will claim victory over Grendel, clearly demonstrating his belief in fate. In Haney’s version, Beowulf displays his belief as well before a battle, in particular, the fight with the dragon. This is demonstrated when Beowulf states that “‘...What occurs on the wall between the two of us will turn out as fate’” (Haney 675-676). Once again Beowulf believes that the outcome of the battle with the dragon will be decided by fate, which exhibits Beowulf’s belief in
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