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From a legendary translator: a magnificent new rendering of Spain's national epicVenture into the heart of Islamic Spain in this vibrant, rollicking new translation of The Song of the Cid, the only surviving epic from medieval Spain. Banished from the court of King Alfonso, the noble warrior Rodrigo Diaz, know as the Cid, sets out from Castile to restore his name. In a series of battles, he earns wealth and honor for his men and his king, as well as fame and admiration for himself. But it is in rescuing his daughters from their ill-suited marriages that the Cid faces the ultimate challenge to the medieval heroic ideal.
During a Christmas feast at Camelot, King Arthur and his knights are interrupted by a monstrous green-skinned knight who offers them a simple but deadly challenge. Sir Gawain accepts this challenge, which will force him to choose between his honor and his life. Written by an unknown 14th century poet, this beloved tale is translated from the Old English.
“For there is indeed something we can call the spirit of ancient Greece–a carefully tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with astonishing clarity and grace , a distinctive voice that, taken as a whole, is like no other voice that has ever sung on this earth. ” –BURTON RAFFEL, from his Preface For centuries, the poetry of Homer, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Sappho, and Archilochus has served as one of our primary means of connecting with the wholly vanished world of ancient Greece. But the works of numerous other great and prolific poets–Alkaios, Meleager, and Simonides, to name a few–are rarely translated into English , and are largely unknown to modern readers. InPure Pagan, award-winning translator Burton Raffel brings these and many other wise and witty ancient Greek writers to an English-speaking audience for the first time, in full poetic flower. Their humorous and philosophical ruminations create a vivid portrait of everyday life in ancient Greece –and they are phenomenally lovely as well. In short, sharp bursts of song, these two-thousand-year-old poems speak about the timeless matters of everyday life: Wine (Wine is the medicine/To call for, the best medicine/To drink deep, deep) History (Not us: no. /It began with our fathers,/I’ve heard). Movers and shakers (If a man shakes loose stones/To make a wall with/Stones may fall on his head/Instead) Old age (Old age is a debt we like to be owed/Not one we like to collect) Frankness (Speak/As you please/And hear what can never/Please). There are also wonderful epigrams (Take what you have while you have it: you’ll lose it soon enough. /A single summer turns a kid into a shaggy goat) and epitaphs (Here I lie, beneath this stone, the famous woman who untied her belt for only one man). The entrancing beauty, humor, and piercing clarity of these poems will draw readers into the Greeks’ journeys to foreign lands, their bacchanalian parties and ferocious battles, as well as into the more intimate settings of their kitchens and bedrooms. The poetry ofPure Paganreveals the ancient Greeks’ dreams, their sense of humor, sorrows, triumphs, and their most deeply held values, fleshing out our understanding of and appreciation for this fascinating civilization and its artistic legacy. From the Hardcover edition.
One of the most powerful dramas ever written for the stage, Othello is a story of revenge, illusion, passion, mistrust, jealousy, and murder. If in Iago Shakespeare created the most compelling villain in Western literature, in Othello and Desdemona he gave us our most tragic and unforgettable lovers.
One of the most frequently read and performed of all stage works, Shakespeare's Hamlet is unsurpassed in its complexity and richness. Now the first fully annotated version of Hamlet makes the play completely accessible to readers in the twenty-first century. It has been carefully assembled with students, teachers, and the general reader in mind.Eminent linguist and translator Burton Raffel offers generous help with vocabulary and usage of Elizabethan English, pronunciation, prosody, and alternative readings of phrases and lines. His on-page annotations provide readers with all the tools they need to comprehend the play and begin to explore its many possible interpretations. This version of Hamlet is unparalleled for its thoroughness and adherence to sound linguistic principles.In his Introduction, Raffel offers important background on the origins and previous versions of the Hamlet story, along with an analysis of the characters Hamlet and Ophelia. And in a concluding essay, Harold Bloom meditates on the originality of Shakespeare's achievement. The book also includes a careful selection of items for "Further Reading." [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers twenty-nine of literature's most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. This new edition includes a comprehensive introduction that summarizes some of the most important historical events and movements that defined the world of Chaucer and his pilgrims; two additional tales (Reeve's and Shipman's); introductions for each tale designed to prepare the reader for a better understanding and enjoyment of the tale; newly written and conveniently placed explanatory notes; and a new, more easily understood system for learning to pronounce Chaucerian Middle English.From the Paperback edition.
Beowulf is the earliest extant poem in a modern European language reflecting a feudal, newly Christian world of heroes and monsters, blood and victory, life and death. Its beauty, power, and artistry have kept it alive for more than thirteen centuries.
Beowulf is the earliest extant poem in a modern European language-- reflecting a feudal, newly Christian world of heroes and monsters, blood and victory, life and death. Its beauty, power, and artistry have kept it alive for more than thirteen centuries.
Affordable, compact, and authoritative, this one-volume edition of The Annotated Milton encompasses the monumental sweep of John Milton's poetry. Here are Milton' s early works, including his first great poem, "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity," the light and lyrical "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso," the masque Comus, and the lushly beautiful pastoral elegy "Lycidas." Here, too, included in their entirety, are the three epic poems considered to be among the finest works in the English language: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes.Fully annotated by Burton Raffel, this distinguished edition clarifies the complex allusions of Milton's verse and references the personal, religious, historical, and mythical influences that inspired the great blind poet of England, who ranks among the undisputed giants of world literature.From the Paperback edition.