I never expected to read Beowulf, figuring it was a semester long project involving more Old English than I cared to learn. Still, I liked the movie pretty well, and found that Nobel winner Seamus Heaney had translated the story into modern verse ten years ago.
Even translated, it makes a pretty strange tale, describing a world where martial glory was a man’s highest aspiration, worth death to win. And what on earth was a “formal boast,” such as Beowulf makes two or three times? Still, it moves right along, only a little over 100 pages, if you ignore the other half of the bilingual edition, featuring three monsters and a fair amount of gore. Pretty painless after all.