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Beowulf. Unknown Poet. Beowulf. Germanic traditional epic Specifically Anglo-Saxon Warring culture 3,000 line epic poem First literary composition in the English Language Composed sometime between 600-900 C.E. 700 is our best guess. Written down 200-300 years later. .

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beowulf

Beowulf

Unknown Poet

beowulf1
Beowulf
  • Germanic traditional epic
    • Specifically Anglo-Saxon
    • Warring culture
  • 3,000 line epic poem
  • First literary composition in the English Language
  • Composed sometime between 600-900 C.E. 700 is our best guess.
  • Written down 200-300 years later.
history of the text
History of the text
  • Poem exists in one manuscript only (in British Library)
  • Survived fire in 18th century
  • This scare led to the copying, editing, translating of the copy
  • Now an integral part of the canon.
    • A group of the most important literature of any given time period, genre, author, etc.
beowulf2
Beowulf
  • Poem written in England
    • Set in Scandinavia
  • Follows the Scandinavian prince, Beowulf.
  • Poem has three major plots
    • Beowulf, a warrior for the Geats, crosses the sea to help the Danes kill the man-eating monster Grendel.
      • He must also kill Grendel’s mother
    • Beowulf returns and rules for fifty years as king. A dragon terrorizes the country and Beowulf must confront it.
    • Beowulf slays the dragon but meets his own death. He enters the legend of his people as a hero.
beowulf3
Beowulf
  • Poem shows life in the Dark Ages.
    • Begins with soldiers in a hall, drinking mead
    • Grendel eats them all.

Yum.

  • Grendel is the spawn of Cain, the murderous brother in the Old Testament.
objectives
Objectives
  • To identify elements of Anglo-Saxon culture
  • Analyze use of literary elementys:
    • Imagery
    • Symbolism
    • Alliteration
    • Kennings
  • Analyze central theme of the poem
  • Analyze characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon hero
  • Recognize pagan and Christian elements