Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018


In this article the translations of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien, E. Talbot Donaldson, and Seamus Heaney are compared, in order to shed light on different approaches in translation. Tolkien approaches the task with a philological perspective, retaining archaic diction and syntax; Donaldson seeks to convey simplicity in his translation, trying to remain as transparent as possible; Heaney provides his Irish prospective, and his own reading of the peom "raised to the power of verse." As part of the study, I have done my own translation, which I also discuss in the paper. The document includes both my analysis and my own translation.