Introduction to Adaptation

Submitted with adaptation.

I completed a rap adaptation of the Beowulf prologue after translating the passage (lines 1-52; available in Appendix II) from George Jack’s Beowulf: A Student Edition inspired by my fascination with both rap music and Beowulf;  over time, I have found some similarities between these styles of oral performances which I will discuss here.

Historically, oral poetry was presented by the Medieval “Scop” who was responsible for singing and composing songs in the court, occasionally with a harp, educating and entertaining listeners, and retelling tribe history and genealogy.  Currently “rappers” perform rap music, again for entertainment and knowledge,  characterized by  rhythmic lyrics over instrumental backing.  The aforementioned general comparison shows that both rap and oral poetry performances are both purposeful, spreading knowledge or as entertainment (or “infotainment”), as well as medium independent, in an accessible and verbal or vocal form.  Since both rap music and oral poetry utilize many sound devices, I attempted to do likewise in my adaptation where it was possible (See Appendix I)*.

>annotate: kenning/ alliteration/ original language/ intertextual reference/ rap references

*I’m still searching for the annotations and commentary. You can get an idea of what I was going to talk about ^^.  I’m sure they were great!


Jack, George. ed.  Beowulf: A Student Edition. 2009.  New York: Oxford University Press.  Print.

Taylor, Kelly S. “Anglo Saxon Scops.” University of North Texas

“Scop.” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nded. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

“Rapper.” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nded. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.