The Canterbury Tales Remixed: Beowulf

Same disclaimer as for the last two weeks applies to this last segment I’m doing on The Canterbury Tales Remixed: “Anyone even passingly interested in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, or the Canterbury Tales might want to try this out, though be warned, it’s still rap. So expect cursing and explicitness from it. Not that the Canterbury Tales by themselves are short on either.”

This is Baba Brinkman’s take on Beowulf. I like how, at the end, he tries to get his audience to go read Seamus Heaney’s translation of the poem. That’s actually the one I read in high school, and then again in college for my British Literature class.

Beowulf is an epic poem of Anglo-Saxon origin, probably written down around the 8th century, give or take a couple of centuries. It was written in Old English, which is practically a different language from modern English, as demonstrated:

“Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena      in geār-dagum

þēod-cyninga      þrym gefrūnon,

hū þā æðelingas      ellen fremedon.

Oft Scyld Scēfing      sceaðena þrēatum”

Have fun reading that. Or just go read Seamus Heaney’s Baba Brinkman-approved translation.

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