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Don't hate me because I'm beautiful:

Now that you've read all about "sele and meal" from my previous post, here's some useful advice for the beautiful.

(The following is from the same Heaney translation of Beowulf that I quoted in my previous post; this can be found at lines 1931-41. I won't reproduce the Old English this time, but you can find a text here and here, among other places. I've noticed that not everyone agrees that the name of the queen is Modthryth; a few versions have "mod" as a separate word and "Thryth" as the name of the queen. Anyway, that's not important here.)

... Great Queen Modthryth
perpetrated terrible wrongs.
If any retainer ever made bold
to look her in the face, if an eye not her lord's
stared at her directly during daylight,
the outcome was sealed: he was kept bound
in hand-tightened shackles, racked, tortured
until doom was pronounced — death by the sword,
slash of blade, blood-gush and death qualms
in an evil display. Even a queen
outstanding in beauty must not overstep like that.
Good advice, even today.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful:
  2. Beowulf and modern appliances:
Lev:

hand-tightened shackles, racked, tortured ...death by the sword,
slash of blade, blood-gush and death qualms in an evil display.


Yep. Law school exams being graded by a perfessor.
12.22.2006 12:36am
The NJ Annuitant (mail):
Great Queen Modthryth .. my new girlfriend is better looking than the "Great Queen" and she clearly has a MUCH better people skills.
12.22.2006 8:26am
Stan (mail):
Sounds like Medusa.
12.22.2006 8:47am
glangston (mail):
This reminds me of some royalty that had all their landscaping done at night so they wouldn't have to look upon the help. And others where the help would turn and face the wall when the Lord or Lady approached.
12.22.2006 10:18am
Latinist:
On the other hand:

What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
What else could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

Just a thought.
12.22.2006 10:26am
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way!
12.22.2006 10:34am
liberty (mail) (www):
"What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire"

Yeah, nobility can do that to you.
12.22.2006 11:11am
M (mail):
Don't worry- that's not why we hate you!
12.22.2006 11:50am