Seamus Heaney on the New Beowulf

Seamus Heaney on the New Beowulf

Streaming Video - 2005
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Recently re-translated by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, Beowulf has caused a sensation in both the U.S. and the U.K. In this program, NewsHour correspondent Elizabeth Farnsworth speaks with Heaney about his attraction to that epic poem, the probable background of the bard who created the original, similarities between Old English and bits of Anglo-Saxon that still crop up in rural Ireland, and the importance of meter and alliteration in driving the poem. A reading of a passage from the new text and the old demonstrates the poetic affinity between them while underscoring the poem's timeless appeal.

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