Beowulf
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 25

Beowulf PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 98 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Beowulf. EH 2301. Beowulf. Of unknown origin In the late 900’s, two anonymous scribes wrote the story on parchment using West Saxon, a Germanic dialect dominant for literary composition in England at that time. Beowulf. Was bound together with 4 other works in Old English

Download Presentation

Beowulf

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Beowulf

Beowulf

EH 2301


Beowulf1

Beowulf

  • Of unknown origin

  • In the late 900’s, two anonymous scribes wrote the story on parchment using West Saxon, a Germanic dialect dominant for literary composition in England at that time.


Beowulf2

Beowulf

  • Was bound together with 4 other works in Old English

    • The Passion of St. Christopher

    • The Wonders of the East

    • Alexander’s Letter to Aristotle

    • Judith (a poem)

      • All have the presence of monsters, so this suggests that was the common thread.


Beowulf3

Beowulf

  • The whereabouts of the manuscript was unknown for about 500 years.

  • Lawrence Nowell, Dean of Litchfield, owned it in 1563.

    • May have save the manuscript from destruction when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and broke up their libraries.


Beowulf4

Beowulf

  • Manuscript made its way to the famous library of Sir Robert Cotton, an Elizabethan physician.

    • In 1731, Cotton’s library caught fire and the codex containing Beowulf was scorched.

    • After Cotton’s death, his library collection was taken over by the Crown.

  • Today, the manuscript is in the British Library in London.


  • Beowulf5

    Beowulf

    • No one knows who “wrote” Beowulf.

    • Oral poetry was sung by many; was performed when warriors gathered in meadhalls during celebrations.

      • It is from this poem that we derive many of the details for the reconstruction of Anglo-Saxon social life.


    Beowulf6

    Beowulf

    • Seems to have been entirely fictional.

    • The only historically verifiable moment in the poem:

      • Hygelac, lord of the Geats, died in battle against the Frisians.

        • Chronicled by historian Gregory of Tours that Chlochilaichus (Latin name of Hygelac) was killed in the year 521.


    Beowulf7

    Beowulf

    • Why has this story lasted through the ages?

      • Interlaced with the battles of monsters are tales of human struggle.

        • Less than exemplary people:

          • Heremod: wicked king who hoarded people

          • Modthryth: queen who arbitrarily executed those who displeased her

          • Hrothulf: treacherous usurper


    Beowulf8

    Beowulf

    • Why has this story lasted through the ages?

      • Interlaced with the battles of monsters are tales of human struggle.

        • Good against evil

        • Strength of heart and spirit

        • Truth and light vs. dark powers

          • Darkness: Grendel, a dragon, greed, treachery, pride


    Beowulf9

    Beowulf

    • Why has this story lasted through the ages?

      • Interlaced with the battles of monsters are tales of human struggle.

        • Challenge is constant.

        • Death always awaits.

          • Great victories, such as the one over Grendel, but in the end, even the hero’s strength and vitality must be extinguished by old age.


    Structure of beowulf

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of alliteration

      • Beginning 3 or 4 words in a line with the same letter

        • OE: “waes se grimma gaest Grendel haten”

        • TRANS: “a horror from hell, hideous Grendel.”

        • “Then out of the night/came the shadow-stalker, stealthy and swift“ (702-703)


    Structure of beowulf1

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of kenning

      • A specific type of compound used for stylistic effects; a compressed metaphor.

        • “swan-road” for ocean

        • “wave-courser” for ship

        • “death-shadow” for Grendel


    Structure of beowulf2

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of oral structure

      • Tendency to digress into stories tangent to the action of the main plot.

        • Contribute to artistry of broad contrasts

          • Youth vs. age

          • Joy vs. sorrow

          • Good vs. bad

            • Hrothgar’s story of King Heremod

            • Contrast of good Queen Hygd and bad Queen Modthryth


    Structure of beowulf3

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of oral structure

      • Tendency to digress into stories tangent to the action of the main plot.

        • Commentary from the poet


    Structure of beowulf4

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of oral structure

      • Epic form

        • Viewing hero’s life as part of a historical pattern

          • Iliad: Homer focuses on one sequence – the withdrawal of Achilles from the Trojan War

            • Recalls Helen’s abduction, which started the war

            • Looks ahead to defeat of Trojans


    Structure of beowulf5

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of oral structure

      • Epic form

        • Viewing hero’s life as part of a historical pattern

          • Milton’s Paradise Lost: disobedience of Adam & Eve; Enveloping action includes:

            • Earlier rebellion of Satan

            • The creation

            • Whole future of fallen mankind


    Structure of beowulf6

    Structure of Beowulf

    • Use of oral structure

      • Epic form

        • This narrative method enables epic poet to delineate his central figure or episodes with vitality, yet at the same time to enlarge the dimensions of the poem and encompass a wider range of human experience.

        • Poet also uses digression in a subtle way to foreshadow dark events to come.


    Themes in beowulf

    Themes in Beowulf

    • Identity

      • Ancestral heritage

      • Individual reputation

        • Heroic acts


    Themes in beowulf1

    Themes in Beowulf

    • Heroic glory

      • Characteristics of good warrior

        • Strength

        • Loyalty

        • Courage

      • Characteristics of good king

        • Hospitality

        • Generosity

        • Diplomacy


    Themes in beowulf2

    Themes in Beowulf

    • Distribution of treasure

      • King rewards strong, loyal warriors

        • Gold

        • Horses

        • Armor


    Themes in beowulf3

    Themes in Beowulf

    • Pagan vs. Christian elements

      • Blackburn, The Christian Colouring in Beowulf:

        • Poem was composed by a heathen from old stories. At a later date, it was revised by a Christian to include the Christian allusions.

        • Poem was composed by a Christian who had heard the stories and used them in the material of his work.


    Themes in beowulf4

    Themes in Beowulf

    • Pagan vs. Christian elements

      • Blackburn

        • Passages containing references to biblical history or allusion to scripture

        • Passages containing disapproval of heathen ideas or pagan worship

        • Passages containing references to distinctively Christian doctrines (heaven, hell, day of judgment)

        • 53 cases of incidental allusions to the Christian God


    Beowulf

    • Beowulf

    • http://faculty.virginia.edu/OldEnglish/Beowulf.Readings/Prologue.html


    Http www lone star net literature beowulf index html

    http://www.lone-star.net/literature/beowulf/index.html

    Audio readings of Beowulf:

    http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/noa/audio.htm


  • Login