Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Hewett-Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. John Marx

Third Advisor

Dr. Louis Schwartz


In 2000, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney published a new translation of the early medieval epic, Beowulf The work was subsequently lauded as a masterpiece. Despite this ensuing surge of interest in Heaney's translation, very few scholars have undertaken the task of a critical analysis of the translation and none have assumed the task of a comparative analysis between the original text and Heaney's version. Most, it seems, have assumed that Heaney's translation is a faithful rendition of the original, and with good reason. Heaney maintains fidelity to the structure, stylistics, and meter of the original, as well as to its length. Yet as one begins to look more closely at both the translation and the Beowulf text, one realizes that Heaney' s translation diverges from the original in ways that seem to be unaccountable.