Friday SCHOLASTIC Roundup: Beowulf


Since I'm in school right now I have little time to study up more on current issues/events. So I'm modifiying my weekend roundups to include things that I've enjoyed learning at school throughout my week. Perhaps you might find these things interesting too.

This week in my Medieval British Literature class we read the heroic poem, Beowulf. I L-O-V-E this poem. I love the story. I am glad I had this class to help me analyze and understand it more. I've always loved the nostalgic overtones...the feeling of loss for days when society had heroes of epic strength and virtue. I L-O-V-E hearing the language of Old English--made me really want to learn to speak and read it.  I don't have anything particularly insightful I want to say here. I just want to urge all of you to read it. Below, I've included a passage of one of the many reminders in the poem that we will all eventually die...that we are mortal.

It is a great wonder
how Almighty God in His magnificence
favors our race with rank and scope
and the gift of wisdom; His sway is wide.
Sometimes He allows the mind of a man
of distinguished birth to follow its bent,
grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth
and forts to command in his own country.
He permits him to lord it in many lands
until the man in his unthinkingness
forgets that it will ever end for him.
He indulges his desires; illness and old age 
mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled
by envy or malice or the thought of enemies
with their hate-honed swords. The whole world
conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst
until an element of overweening
enters him and takes hold
while the soul's guard, its sentry, drowses,
grown too distracted. A killer stalks him,
an archer who draws a deadly bow.
And then the man is hit in the heart,

Wishing for days of heroism, courage, reverence, and custom.