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Do Now. How does lineage affect people’s place in society?. Beowulf. Background. Epic – a long narrative poem, sometimes developed orally, that celebrates the deeds of a legendary or heroic figure

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do now
Do Now
  • How does lineage affect people’s place in society?
  • Epic – a long narrative poem, sometimes developed orally, that celebrates the deeds of a legendary or heroic figure
  • Legendary hero – larger than life character whose accomplishments are celebrated in traditional tales
    • Boastful self-confidence
    • Feats of strength
    • Victories in battle
  • Beowulf – Geat
  • Hrothgar – Dane
  • The clergy was the first group to record the story of Beowulf.
  • At the time Beowulf was recorded, Christianity was spreading through Europe.
  • Elements of the story are indicative of the struggle between paganism and Christianity that was occurring at the time.
    • Beowulf
      • Christ-like figure
    • Grendel’s mother
      • Biblical portrayals of women
the wrath of grendel the coming of beowulf the battle with grendel
The Wrath of Grendel/The Coming of Beowulf/The Battle with Grendel
  • What does the story of Grendel’s origins suggest about the beliefs of Anglo-Saxon culture?
  • Terrorized by Grendel, Hrothgar and his followers face “Twelve winters of grief.” How does the length of their suffering increase the epic feelings of this tale?
  • How do word choice and stylistic features of the watchman’s speech add a serious epic tone to his question? (Page 43)
  • How do Beowulf’s boasts of great deeds and his announcement of his plan establish him as a hero?
  • How do the “renamings” of Grendel in Line 325 emphasize the significance of the battle that is about to begin?
  • Which details from the description of the battle between Beowulf and Grendel add realism? Which details add epic grandness? (Page 48)
  • Examine the role of religion in the story. Look for examples of conflict between Christianity and paganism.
  • Read The Monsters’ Lair and The Battle with Grendel’s Mother, pages 49-53, and answer corresponding questions.
do now1
Do Now
  • Women are often portrayed in literature in stereotypical ways. Which stereotypes have you seen in other novels or stories you’ve read?
the monsters lair the battle with grendel s mother
The Monsters' Lair/The Battle with Grendel's Mother
  • How does the setting of the battle add to its epic significance? Consider what it shows about the realms in which Beowulf has power.
  • How is Grendel’s mother described in these sections? How does this fit in with stereotypes of women that you have previously encountered in literature?
    • Biblical portrayals of women
      • Perfect and angelic
      • Temptresses and prostitutes
        • Eve
  • Look for descriptions of Grendel’s mother in the story. Take note of how she is portrayed and how her portrayal is stereotypical of women in literature.
  • Read The Last Battle, The Spoils, and The Farewell, pages 54-60, and answer corresponding questions.
do now2
Do Now
  • What are the possible benefits and disadvantages of living a solitary life?
the last battle the spoils and the farewell
The Last Battle, The Spoils, and The Farewell
  • According to Wiglaf, what is Beowulf’s relationship with his followers like?
  • What does Wiglaf’s decision suggest about the way in which a legendary hero can inspire heroism in others?
  • In Beowulf’s death scene, what is shown about the importance in warrior culture of the commem0ration of individuals after death?
  • Look for connections between Beowulf and other solitary figures in history and literature. In a short speech, justify why it was or was not necessary for Beowulf to be a lonely character in order to be successful.
  • Study for quiz.