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Download Beowulf Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Beowulf (Unabridged), by C. W. Kennedy
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (94,869 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: C. W. Kennedy Narrator: Charlton Griffin Publisher: Audio Connoisseur Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Out of the mixture of Latin & Germanic paganism and the Christianity of the Early Middle Ages sprung one of the world's supremely great pieces of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, delivered a famous lecture to the British Academy in 1936 in which he maintained that Beowulf was a poem all of a piece, not (as had been suggested) a jumble of fragments for pedantic scholars to paw over. The power & beauty of Beowulf enchanted Tolkien so much that he borrowed freely of its imagery & even of some of its plot when he forged his own epic of Middle Earth.

This medieval masterpiece, written in pre-Norman England Saxon, lay forgotten for centuries, rediscovered & printed for the first time early in the 19th century. It has been translated many times since, and the more people read Beowulf, the more they admire it. For good reason. In strikingly beautiful lines, it affirms the ideal of tenderness joined to strength, and of courage ennobled by virtue. It speaks resounding tones of valor, faith, and honor. It's a heroic tale of pagan Germanic origin, a saga of a vanishing age retold in the new light of the Christian era. Its author, most likely an educated monk from Northumbria, was certainly influenced by the work of Virgil. The old pagan legends of blood feuds & monsters formed the dark background against which the Christian hero Beowulf would shine forth with deeds of courage & virtue. Of all old Anglo-Saxon poems, Beowulf is the greatest.

This version of Beowulf is organized in 17 parts. Within some sections, there are digressions which do not, strictly speaking, belong to the central plot. These sections, called lays, have been enhanced by an echo to help the listener detect them. An introduction by Henry Bradley precedes the poem.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sherry Chandler | 2/16/2014

    " Just excellent. I enjoyed every line. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Heath | 2/14/2014

    " A good translation of the Old English epic. The depiction of the hero of the Geats, Beowulf. It is brutal and gory, as are most stories of glory. Beowulf is a self-centered man turned king. He seeks to impress everyone and claim all heroics for himself, and you wonder why people are so loyal to him. However, you can't help but feel sympathy and sadness for him and his men in his final battle. It is the depiction of a hero from youth and height of victory to his old age and passing. It is truly a wondrous tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tanya Hakala | 1/21/2014

    " I highly recommend reading this out loud or having it read to you. I haven't yet taken the time to compare it to the original Old English. Impressive translation, getting the meter and alliteration to match. I think Ringler may have been a bit heavier handed with the God imagery than I recall, but, again, I need to go back to the original poem and compare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anthony J. | 1/19/2014

    " This Germanic epic features both a staggering number of instances of legendary hyperbole and a startling simplicity of thought characteristic of modern bedtime stories. However, to lambast it for its apparent lack of intellectual depth or a complex plot is to misunderstand the purpose and genre of the work. It is very much an ancient bedtime story for adults, a fairy tale of manly exploits, and a subtle statement of belief of newly Christianized Germanic tribes occupying Northwest Europe during the early Middle Ages. It can and should be enjoyed for its own sake and appreciated for its clear single-mindedness. However, if an academic analysis is deemed necessary, then it should be noted that a tightly balanced parallel plot structure, a respectable amount of both implied and stated political intrigue, and an incredible depth and breadth of symbolism are present and waiting to be discovered in a work that is primarily known for featuring sea monsters, a treasure-guarding dragon, and copious amounts of mead. Whether Beowulf is analyzed or simply enjoyed, however, the exploits of the prince of the Geats have withstood the test of time, and for very good reason. "

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