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Beowulf - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Beowulf. an epic poem. What is an epic or a saga?. A long story, often in the form of a poem Based on historic or legendary events Tells the exploits of a hero Characters & events are exaggerated and glorified. Beowulf as Literature. Earliest example of English poetry 3200 lines long

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slide1

Beowulf

an epic poem

what is an epic or a saga
What is an epic or a saga?
  • A long story, often in the form of a poem
  • Based on historic or legendary events
  • Tells the exploits of a hero
  • Characters & events are exaggerated and glorified
beowulf as literature
Beowulf as Literature
  • Earliest example of English poetry
  • 3200 lines long
  • Sounds include rhythm & alliteration
  • Does not rhyme
  • Language is Anglo-Saxon -- an early form of English
history of the poem
History of the Poem
  • Setting: Denmark and Sweden in the 500-600’s
  • Composed orally between 700-900
  • Author (or authors) unknown
  • Performed by bards (storytelling singers/poets)
  • First written about 1000 by monks
  • Monks may have changed the original pagan references to Christian ones
beowulf in danger
Beowulf in Danger!
  • England in 1600--King Henry VIII orders all monasteries destroyed
  • manuscript eventually ended up with Sir Robert Cotton (collector of manuscripts, books, coins)
  • kept in one of the largest private libraries in England
  • one century after his death, Cotton’s house caught fire
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manuscript badly scorched, some parts were totally destroyed

  • moved to the British Museum in 1753
  • 1786--Danish scholar, G.J. Thorkelin made two copies of Beowulf and took them back to Denmark
  • Thorkelin’s library and papers destroyed in 1807
slide7

. . . except Beowulf!

  • Thorkelin started over, published his version in 1815
  • conservation of the manuscript began in 1845
  • now in the British Library in London
the story of beowulf
The Story of Beowulf . . .

and why it’s cool

  • a poem in three parts, each with a monster
the setting of beowulf
The Setting of Beowulf . . .

Norway

Sweden

Denmark

Modern Germany

the story of beowulf10
The Story of Beowulf . . .

and why it’s cool

  • Part 1 - Beowulf sails from Sweden to Denmark with fourteen warriors to help King Hrothgar get rid of Grendel
the story of beowulf11
The Story of Beowulf . . .

and why it’s cool

  • Part 2 - A relative of Grendel’s gets involved in revenge
the story of beowulf12
The Story of Beowulf . . .

and why it’s cool

  • Part 3 - Fire-breathing dragon is rudely awakened
characters the humans
Characters (the humans)
  • Beowulf, a Geat (from southern Sweden)
  • Hrothgar, King of the Danes (from Denmark)
  • Unferth, a Dane
  • Higlac, King of the Geats, Beowulf’s uncle
  • Queen Welthow, Hrothgar’s wife
  • Queen Higd, Higlac’s wife
  • Wiglaf, a Geat, Beowulf’s cousin
life during the time of beowulf
Life During the Time of Beowulf
  • AD 500-600
  • Viking culture in Scandinavia
  • Farmers, fishermen, & seafarers
  • Warrior culture: loyalty, courage, revenge
  • Raided coastal Europe
entertainment
Entertainment
  • People gathered and listened to heroic stories
  • Poems were sung and accompanied by harp