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Geography, History, Language. Beowulf Background. Basic Beowulf Facts:. Beowulf is the oldest known English written story. It’s about a hero from what is now Sweden … …who saves the day in what is now Denmark . How do you think the story ended up in England?.

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Beowulf Background


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  1. Geography, History, Language Beowulf Background

  2. Basic Beowulf Facts: Beowulf is the oldest known English written story. It’s about a hero from what is now Sweden… …who saves the day in what is now Denmark. How do you think the story ended up in England?

  3. The story comes from the Denmark/Sweden area, and Germanic invaders brought it to England.

  4. Here’s a snapshot of who lived where. Beowulf is a Geat. He saves the day for the Danes, right across that narrow channel.

  5. About the language: • Beowulf was told and written in Old English. We estimate that the written story is from about the year 700, but the actual story may be much older.

  6. Here is what old English looks like:

  7. How Old English compares to Modern English: What Old English words do you recognize?

  8. Let’s take a listen:

  9. Prologue Reading Prompt • The prologue tells us a bit of Beowulf’s backstory– it tells the story of an old king of the Danes, and how he lived and died. • As you read, look for answers to these two questions: • According to this story, what makes a king a “good king”? • What is important to the Danes?