The poem Bēowulf has been translated hundreds of times, in part or in whole. In past decades translators such as Howell Chickering and E. Talbot Donaldson firmly adhered to formal equivalency, following the original text line-by-line if not word-by-word. Such translations are useful for Anglo-Saxon students but cannot reach a larger audience because they are unwieldy and often incomprehensible. In the past fifty years, though, a group of translators with different philosophies has taken up the task of translating the poem with greater success. Translators such as Marc Hudson, Edwin Morgan, and Seamus Heaney used dynamic equivalency for their versions, eschewing strict grammatical accuracy and literal diction in order to recreate the sense and experience of the poem for a modern audience. How two translators, E. Talbot Donaldson and Seamus Heaney, treat the queens in the poem as revealed by a close textual analysis proves to be an excellent example of the two methodologies; formal equivalence translators do not endow their female characters with the agency and respect present in the original text, while dynamic equivalence translators take liberties with the language to give their readers a strong sense of the powerful but tragic queen figures. Harold Bloom’s theory of the development of poets in The Anxiety of Influence can help explain this shift from formal equivalency to dynamic equivalency. Translators of Bēowulf necessarily react against their predecessors, and since translators usually explain their process and philosophy in forwards or introductions, their motivations for “swerving away” are clear. Formal equivalence translators misrepresented the original text by devaluing the literary merit of the original poem and dynamic equivalence translators seek to remedy the misrepresentation by elaborating and expanding the language of the original to reach a wider audience. Each generation must continue to translate against the grain of its predecessors in order to keep the poem alive for a larger audience so that the poem will continue to be enjoyed by future audiences.
|Commitee:||Comstock, Michelle, Wilson, Eliot K.|
|School:||University of Colorado at Denver|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Medieval literature, British and Irish literature, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Beowulf, Bloom, Gender, Translation, Wealhtheow|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be