Who is Scyld? Where is he from and where does he go? What does he do?
My problem is the version of Beowulf I read did not begin with a character named Scyld. There was actually no character by this name. At the beginning of the story I read there was a character by the name of Shield. Is this the same person as scyld or is there another version i should read?
This should help.
In different versions and translations of the epic poem Beowulf, you may come across different names for the same characters. This can be due to variations in translations, transcription errors, or different interpretations by different scholars.
In the original Old English version of Beowulf, the character is referred to as "Scyld," sometimes spelled as "Scyld Scefing." Scyld is depicted as the legendary Danish king and the founder of the Scylding dynasty. He is often known by the epithet "Scyld Scefing" because of the story of his arrival as a baby in a boat, or "scef," which means "ship" in Old English.
However, in some translations and adaptations of Beowulf, the name "Scyld" may be anglicized closer to "Shield" or "Scyld of the Sheaf." This is likely done to create a more familiar or accessible name for modern readers, as "Shield" is an English word that closely resembles the Old English "Scyld."
So, to answer your question, "Scyld" and "Shield" are essentially the same character, despite the different spellings. It is advisable to consult different translations or versions of Beowulf to get a clearer understanding of the story and its characters. It's worth exploring multiple editions to gain a broader perspective on this ancient epic.