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The Geat people built a pyre for Beowulf, E poi gli costruirono,al principe dei Geati,su quella

stacked and decked it until it stood foursquare, terra,


hung with helmets,heavy war-shields un rogo e vi ammassarono gli elmi,gli scudi e le
and shining armour,just as he ordered. armature scintillanti
Then his warriors laid him in the middle of it, come lui aveva ordinato.
Mourning a lord far-famed and beloved. Nel mezzo ci distesero il loro re famoso e i soldati
On a height they kindled the hugest of all piansero il loro signore.
funeral fires: fumes of woodsmoke Su un altura accesero il fuoco funebre più enorme
billowed darkly up,the blaze roared di tutti: esalazioni di fumo
and drowned out their weeping,wind died down di legna fluttuavano in grandi volute cupe,la
and flames wrought havoc in the hot bone-house, fiamma ruggì e soffocò il loro pianto,
burning it to the core. They were disconsolate il vento cessò e le fiamme generarono devastazione
and wailed aloud for thei lord's decease. nel corpo,bruciando nelle viscere.
A Geat woman too sang out in grief; Piansero sconsolatamente per la caduta del loro re.
with hair bound up,she unburdened herself Una ragazza geata coi capelli legati
of her worst fears,a wild litany cantò un canto di lutto,angosciata e dolente. Ripeté
of nightmare and lament: her nation invaded, che aveva paura di un attacco militare,
enemies on the rampage,bodies in piles, di uno stormo di stragi, del terrore delle
slavery and abasement. Heaven swallowed the truppe,degli oltraggi e dell'umiliazione delle
smoke. catene.
Then the Geat people began to construct Il cielo ingoiò il fumo.
a mound on a headland, high and imposing, Poi la gente costui' un tumulo in un promontorio
a marker that sailors could see from far away, alto e vistoso in lungo e in largo dai viaggiatori del
and in ten days they had done the work. mare.
It was their hero's momorial;what remained from Lo fabbricarono in dieci giorni quel monumento al
the fire re famoso in battaglia.
they housed inside it,behind a wall Intorno ai resti del rogo costruirono un muro e vi
as worthy of him as thei workmanship could make misero anelli,collane e sigilli che una volta
it. i trasgressori avevano tolto dal tesoro.
And they buried torques in the barrow,and jewels Hanno lasciato al terreno quel tesoro
and a trove of such things as trepassing men ancestrale,l'oro alla sabbia,andata a terra come era
had once dared to drag from the hoard. sempre stato perché inutile agli uomini.
They let the ground keep that ancestral treasure, Poi dodici guerrieri,figli di capitribù,campioni di
gold under gravel,gone to earth, battaglia si erano riuniti intorno al rogo sconvolti
as useless to men now as it ever was. dal dolore intonavano canti funebri in lutto per il
Then twelve warriors rode around the tomb, loro perduto re e uomo.
Chieftains sons, champions in battle,
all of them distraught, chanting in dirges
Mourning his loss as a man and a king.

Beowulf 's Funeral


According to Beowulf's wishes,his people burn his body on a huge funeral pyre and then bury him with a
great treasure in a barrow overlooking the sea.
Beowulf’s funeral analysis

From the very first line of the text, the reader / listener is inserted into the situation and in the real theme
of the extract. At a first reading, the text might seem simply a narrative of the events that occurred during
the funeral of the hero (as suggested by the words "pyre for Beowulf"). But if you focus on the rhetorical
level you notice the alliteration of the sound "b" at the beginning of the words "built" and "Beowulf" that
makes it clear to the intelligent reader who is the real protagonist of the narrative: the hero Beowulf. The
true intention of the author is highlighted by the second and third lines where the narrator begins to
describe the characteristics of the hero, starting from the description of his funeral pyre and of the
reactions of his companions to his death. After exposing the main characteristics of the hero, the narrator
focuses on the description of his social role and his relationship with his subjects / companions. As regards
the relationship the protagonist had with the rest of his people, the presence of the expressions "warriors"
and "far famed and beloved" might seem contradictory but, by laying them side by side, the narrator wants
to emphasize the benevolence that the hero had from the soldiers.

In the following lines the author continues the narration of what happened at the funeral of Beowulf using
alliteration to introduce turning on of the funeral pyre after the deposition of the body of the hero on it.

Continuing the reading can see the development of a story inside the story, added by the narrator in order
to remind the reader once again the high regard of Beowulf to his people: singing a woman describes her
fears about Geat after the death of the hero, evoking terrifying images that refer to the warlike character of
the society in which the poem is set. After this brief interruption the narrative of the events that took place
during the funeral of the hero resumes proceeding hand in hand together with his characterization.

The last part of the extract is the description of the beliefs of the culture at the time of Beowulf about life
after death: the fact that his ashes were buried with all his treasures (which could be useful after death) and
the fact that it was replanted also by the principles of the neighbouring lands. Testimony to the fact that the
most important exponents of society were buried along with their riches is located at the archaeological site
of Sutton Hoo, England. Here were found the remains of a ship dating back to Beowulf and connected with
the poem, in which is located the body of a man (probably a king) together with his golden armour and
gilded bronze.