Beowulf. The epic tale of one man’s journey to become a wonder… a legend... a hero. Epic Poetry.
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Beowulf The epic tale of one man’s journey to become a wonder… a legend... a hero.
Epic Poetry • An epic poem is a long narrative poem celebrating the adventures and achievements of a hero... epics deal with the traditions, myths or history of a nation. • An epic hero is usually a person of great strength, wit or skill whose adventures contribute to the development of a particular nation.
Literary Terms to Know: • Alliteration: Repetition of consonant sound • Hyperbole: Exaggeration • Caesura: Long extended pause • The lines contain caesuras to represent the pauses that speakers normally use in everyday speech. • Each line is divided into two parts called a hemistich (HEM e stick), which is half a line of verse. • A complete line is called a stich. • Each hemistich contains two stressed (accented) syllables and a varying number of unstressed (unaccented) syllables. • Metaphor: Comparison without like or as • Kennings: the poet creates a new compound word or phrase to describe an object or activity. • War-Gear: Armor • Gold-Friend: Good Friend
Old English http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L7VTH8ii_8&feature=related
Background and History • The manuscript containing the story of Beowulf was discovered in England in the l600s. • It is written in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxon invaders who settled in England between A . D . 450 and 600. • Beowulf ‘s author is unknown. • Although the manuscript dates from around 1000, the poem was composed much earlier, sometime between 700 and 950. • Certain references in the text suggest that the author was a Christian who modeled the story after pagan tales of German heroes of the past.
Background and History • Beowulf is set in a much earlier time than the period in which it was composed, and the action takes place in Denmark and Sweden. • The story reflects the warrior culture of ancient Germanic peoples, among whom wars were common and fighting was a traditional occupation. • The king supplied his warriors with food, shelter, land, and weapons. In return, they were bound by oaths of loyalty and obedience to the king. • The epic emphasizes values that were important to Norse warriors, such as courage, loyalty to one's king and comrades, and honor for those who fight and die bravely.
Before Reading Beowulf… • Understand how close Beowulf came to being forgotten. The poem exists only as a part of one manuscript, which dates from around 1000 C.E. • Think about the language of the poem. Beowulf was originally written in Old English. In Old English, this produced a rhythmic quality that can still be seen in modern translations. • Recognize the roots of the poem. Before Beowulf was written down, it had been an verbal legend passed down for generations. It's a story that was originally meant to be told, not read • Read the poem aloud. Beowulf was meant to be recited and the words are supposed to be heard. While reading, allow the rhythm of your voice to be guided by the words and to build naturally. • Remember, Beowulf is a story. As such, the story of a hero who battles monsters, creatures of the sea, human enemies and a dragon is an incredible story. Enjoy.
Danes & Geats • The Danes were residents of Denmark- they were a tribe of soldiers loyal to their king who provided for them. • The Geats were Beowulf's clan - a seafaring tribe residing in the south of Sweden. As the poem suggests, the Geats appear to have been conquered and disappeared into history.
Background • Politics play a big part in the story of Beowulf. Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, is suffering because a monster is terrorizing his people. He can’t find a hero to defeat the monster, Grendel. • Beowulf is in debt to Hrothgar because when Beowulf’s father Ecgtheow got in trouble in a war with the Wulfings, the Geats sent him out of the country. Hrothgar kept him accepted him into the Danish tribe, and Ecgtheow swore his allegiance to him. • Beowulf is a great warrior and Prince of the Geats. When he hears of the monster, he volunteers to go help for two reasons: • He wants to help Hrothgar. • He wants to increase his own glory.
Background • Hrothgar built a big party hall called Heorot. However, because of Grendel, his people are getting killed instead of partying.
Your Task • Read of the battle between Beowulf and Grendel. The Battle with Grendel.docx
Your Task Continued • First write a two page analysis that determines whether Beowulf is fighting for justice or honor. Use Times New Roman size 12 Font. • Then, meet with your group members to construct your own fairy tale adaptation. • As a group decide if heroes fight for justice or honor • Choose a fairy tale • Create an adaptation of that story from the perspectives of: • The hero • The villain • The realistic narrator • The adaptations should be at least two pages in length, Times New Roman font size 12 • Each adaptation should have a title and should link together with a common theme or motif. • Include the terms to know in your adaptations