British Literature. December 17, 2007 Ms. Cares. Agenda: . Bellringer Beowulf Questions – Please have your HW questions out for my signature. Review “Beowulf’s Last Battle,” “The Death of Beowulf,” and “Mourning Beowulf.” Beowulf Review Questions – Big Ideas
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December 17, 2007
3. What THREE things do the Romans bring with them when they invade the British Isles? What are the effects of each of these three things on the Anglo-Saxon culture?
One word… FAME!
If his friends are close to him as he fights, they will be able to relay his stories of glory to others.
“The monster came quickly…”
“Flames beat at the iron / Shield, and for a time it held…”
Beowulf is on the DEFENSIVE.
“Unwilling to leave this world…”
“A journey / into darkness that all men must make, as death / Ends their few brief hours on earth.”
Death is unknown, and Beowulf is reluctant to leave Earth, where he has known great fame and glory. Life is good but short.
“And only one of them remained, stood there, miserable, remembering, as a good man must, what kinship should mean” (54).
The other men are not “good,” and they do now know the meaning of true friendship or devotion to one’s king. In the warrior culture, such behavior is not looked upon highly.
5. What heroic quality does Wiglaf represent and champion in his speech? (lines 699-735) -Dedication to his “mighty king” Beowulf. “I’d rather burn myself than see flames swirling around my lord.” BRAVERY.-Respect for what Beowulf has given him and his family.
-FORESHADOWING – “life would go, soon.”
-ALLITERATION – “spoke, in spite of the swollen livid wound”
Figurative Language – Consider the remark that Beowulf has “unwound / his string of days on earth” (lines 737-38). What does it mean?There are no more days to be unwound. He is about to die (foreshadowing).
Does Wiglaf himself qualify as an epic hero? “unwound / his string of days on earth” (lines 737-38). What does it mean?This is your argument to make. Think about his characteristics and compare them to the “epic hero” characteristics on page 29 of the textbook.
Look at page 57.
“Piles of gleaming gold, precious gems, scattered on the floor, cups and bracelets, rusty old helmets, beautifully made but rotting with no hands to rub and polish them.”
line 802: “his lord” = Beowulf
line 803: “his breast broke through” = Beowulf’s voice breaks, and he is able to speak his final words
What do you think?
Wiglaf is rewarded with Beowulf’s golden necklace, gold-covered helmet, rings, mail shirt. He must, therefore, continue Beowulf’s legacy as a brave and devoted king.
What consequence will the warriors’ cowardice have for the rest of the Geat tribe according to Wiglaf? Page 59 – “death would be better…than the kind of life you can lead, branded with disgrace.”