Imagery Tone and Word of Choice

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“Imagery, Tone and Word Choice”

An author can establish the mood of the story by either using figurative language or through using word of choice. Figurative language means the language that utilizes expressions or words with a meaning which is totally different from the literal interpretation. It can also mean different words but that have the same meaning. Word of choice is when you choose to use words that are descriptive and specific that tell your readers what you are trying to say. For example: instead of using a word like sad or unhappy the author decides to use instead a word like sorrowful or morbid. Or instead of using a word like happy the author uses a word like overjoyed or pleasant to be specific to the readers. In the readings Beowulf and Grendel translated by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf translated by Francis B. Gummere, Beowulf translated by Benjamin Slade, and Beowulf translated by David Breeden the translators used word of choice imagery, and tone both similar and differently to be precise about what they wanted to tell the readers.

There is a difference in complexity of the writing when it comes to word choice. In the reading Beowulf and Grendel translated by Seamus Heaney the translator chose to begin the story with:

“So.The Spear-Danes in days gone by and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness. We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns.” (249). While in the reading Beowulf translated by Francis B. Gummere the translator started the story with:

“LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped, we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!” (1). Both readings Beowulf translated by Benjamin Slade and Beowulf translated by David Breeden started somehow the same. Beowulf translated by Benjamin Slade started by: “Listen! We—of the Spear-Danes in the days of yore, of those clan-kings—heard of their glory. how these nobles performed courageous deeds.” (1). The translator David Breeden began his translation with:

“Listen:
You have heard of the Danish Kings in the old days and how they were great warriors. Shield, the son of Sheaf, took many an enemy’s chair, terrified many a warrior, after he was found an orphan.” (1).

The translation by David Breeden and Benjamin Slade started with “Listen” but they both used a different expression towards the word. Benjamin Slade used the word like in a more aggressive and possessive manner while David Breeden used the word in a more calmly and peaceful manner. Seamus Heaney and Francis B. Gummere started their translations differently from David Breeden’s and Benjamin Slade’s translations but both of their translations were written like in more of a poetry format than the other two translations. Imagery was also used by the translators to create visual descriptive images in the readers minds. David Breeden used imagery to create a visual image of when one of the characters died and his people carried him to the sea and his body was laid in a ship which was conducted by the sea with no destination. This part of the translations gives a briefly description of what occurred:

“Shield died at his fated hour, went to God still strong. His people carried him to the sea, which was his last request. In the harbor stood a well-built ship, icy but ready for the sea. They laid Shield there, propped him against the mast surrounded by gold and treasure from distant lands.” (1-2). Francis B. Gummere used imagery to...
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