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Beowulf - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Beowulf

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  1. Beowulf The King and his Thanes

  2. Learning Objectives • Analyze cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. (TEKS §110.32.b.8)

  3. Leadership in Beowulf • King • Thanes • Warriors, land-owners, noblemen

  4. Comitatus • A special relationship between the King and his thanes • The thane swears to defend the king to his death • The king provides protection • The king gives the thanes land, wealth, & weapons • Great comradery between King and his thanes

  5. Comitatus • The thanes sleep in the mead-hall while the king sleeps in an adjoining chamber so that they can always protect him. • If anyone wants to harm the king, he has to go through a room full of warriors.

  6. Comitatus • “He gave out great gifts, so that his dear comrades, when he became king, would then stand by him, as steadfast retainers, when war came.” (lines 21-24)

  7. Wergild • “Man-payment” • Germanic custom of paying a slain man’s family to atone for the killing. • Prevents the slain man’s family from taking revenge. • Hrothgar paid wergild to Beowulf’s father. • Beowulf feels compelled to help Hrothgar in his time of need.

  8. Comitatus • Special relationship between the King and his thanes • The thane swears to defend the king to his death • The king provides protection • The king gives the thanes land, wealth, & weapons • Great comradery between King and his thanes Wergild • “Man-payment” • Germanic custom of paying a slain man’s family to atone for the killing. • Prevents the slain man’s family from taking revenge.