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Beowulf: Background About 3 rd and 4 th century Geats and Danes About 3 rd and 4 th century Geats and Danes Written down between 700-800 (725 is the date.

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Presentation on theme: "Beowulf: Background About 3 rd and 4 th century Geats and Danes About 3 rd and 4 th century Geats and Danes Written down between 700-800 (725 is the date."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beowulf: Background About 3 rd and 4 th century Geats and Danes About 3 rd and 4 th century Geats and Danes Written down between (725 is the date we have) Written down between (725 is the date we have) Epic poem Epic poem Written in Old English Written in Old English

2 Beowulf:Epic poem An epic is a specific genre of classical poetry; it is a narrative poem An epic is a specific genre of classical poetry; it is a narrative poem there are various elements present in a traditional epic there are various elements present in a traditional epic 1.Epic Hero 2.Quest 3.Valorous Deeds 4.Divine intervention (not always present) –Great events (that shape history) Usually starts in media res in the middle Usually starts in media res in the middle

3 What are the attributes of an Anglo-Saxon hero? Courage, strength Skill with weapons Does not retreat Wins or dies in attempt Follows a code Motivated by: fame, revenge, helping others Gold, generosity and rewards

4 Beowulf: Themes Inevitability of death Inevitability of death Presence of evil in society Presence of evil in society The need for good to conquer over evil The need for good to conquer over evil Destruction of a proud hero Destruction of a proud hero Defining ones identity Defining ones identity Tension between cultural values Tension between cultural values –Which values should one follow?

5 IMAGES FROM BEOWULF

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7 Beowulf: Paganism and Christianity Anglo-Saxons may have believe in Fate- they called this wyrd Anglo-Saxons may have believe in Fate- they called this wyrd Used to be a polytheistic culture Used to be a polytheistic culture The last Pagan king in Britain died in late 600s *ruled in one section-Wessex* The last Pagan king in Britain died in late 600s *ruled in one section-Wessex* Paganism became a part of folklore Paganism became a part of folklore Christianity came to Anglo-Saxons in 597 when St. Augustine set up the first monastery Christianity came to Anglo-Saxons in 597 when St. Augustine set up the first monastery

8 Loaded language in Beowulf Denotation- the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression Denotation- the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression Connotation- the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning Connotation- the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning

9 9/16/10 Copy Agenda and HW Copy Agenda and HW Pass Up Vocab. Slogans PUT YOUR NAME ON THEM! Pass Up Vocab. Slogans PUT YOUR NAME ON THEM! Answer the following Type I in your Notes section: Answer the following Type I in your Notes section: What do you consider the characteristics of a hero? (4 Lines)

10 Turn to Page 21 We will read Part 1 together and I will model what you should do after each part. We will read Part 1 together and I will model what you should do after each part. Part 1: Hrothgar (Danish king) and his men vs. Grendel (a monster spawned from descendents of Cain) Part 2: Grendel goes to Herot (town where Hrothgar is) at night after the men are drunk and sleeping. Grendel kills and eats at least thirty men and leaves. Grendel kills and eats at least thirty men and leaves.

11 Beowulf: Discussion- The Monster Grendel 1. What kind of state is Herot in for the twelve years leading up to the arrival of Beowulf? Deserted, empty, lamenting losses. They constantly debated how to get rid of Grendel.

12 Beowulf: Discussion- Coming of Grendel 2. Why didnt Grendel touch Hrothgars throne? It is protected by God.

13 Beowulf: Discussion- Coming of Grendel 3. What words show a bias against Grendel and make him appear to be evil? (Find words with a negative connotation and make line references.) 3. What words show a bias against Grendel and make him appear to be evil? (Find words with a negative connotation and make line references.) Grendel has hatred ; he relishes in savage war; he does not seek peace or offer a truce; he has plundering claws; he is mankinds enemy; he is bloodthirsty and horrible;

14 Beowulf: Discussion- Coming of Grendel 4. What is the first image that the reader has of Beowulf? How would you characterize Beowulf after reading this description? What images are present? Be specific. 4. What is the first image that the reader has of Beowulf? How would you characterize Beowulf after reading this description? What images are present? Be specific. he is the strongest of the Geats; greater and stronger than anyone in this world

15 Beowulf: The Arrival of the Hero Lets continue reading aloud parts 4 and 5. Keep notes on your own. How is Beowulf described? Why does Beowulf go to help the Danes? How does Beowulf feel about himself? What lines tell you this?

16 Beowulf: The Arrival of Beowulf Summary: Summary: –Beowulf is welcomed by Wulfgar, a lord –He is welcomed by the Danes –Beowulf describes why he is a fit opponent for Grendel- discusses his previous conquests and –He says he will purge the Danes of the Monster –Discusses fate- seems to have no fear

17 Unferths Challenge 1. W hat role does the character of Unferth seem to play in relationship to Beowulf? Why would this be necessary? -U-U-U-Unferth is the first person to challenge Beowulf. He calls him a boastful fool (240) and blames Beowulfs pride for his silly swimming match. The author may have felt that it was necessary to oppose Beowulf for many reasons. -G-G-G-Gives Beowulf the opportunity to tell his story -I-I-I-It also hints to a possible flaw in the hero- excessive pride

18 Unferths Challenge 2. How does Unferth view Beowulf? What phrase (include line number) tells you? Unferth does not think highly of Beowulf and does not have faith that he will conquer Grendel. boastful fool (240)

19 Unferths Challenge 3. How does Beowulfs reply to Unferth defend himself? - Beowulf begins by admitting the he was too young to know better but explains how courageous he was during this adventure. Beowulf explains that no strength was a match for his. He shows his strength in conquering sea monsters.

20 Beowulf: Unferths Challenge 4. What is Beowulfs explanation for not leaving Brecca far behind? What does this tell you about Beowulfs opinion of himself? He says He could never leave me behind, swim faster across the waves than I could, and I had chosen to remain close to his side. I remained near his for five long nights.

21 Unferths Challenge 5. When Beowulf was seized by the monster, what does he credit with saving him? Copy down the line that tells you the answer. FATE! A monster seized me, drew me swiftly toward the bottom, swimming with its claws tight in my flesh. But fate let me find its heart with my sword

22 Unferths Challenge 7. After he defends himself, how does Beowulf insult Unferth? Cite 2 examples from the text. Beowulf says to Unferth that he murdered his brothers he will suffer in hell And Unferth is not brave enough to fight Grendel

23 Beowulf: Unferths Challenge 8. What does Beowulf promise to the Geats? To rid them of Grendel. 9. What do you predict will happen in the Battle with Grendel?

24 Unferths Challenge Summary They have a feast to prepare They have a feast to prepare Unferths Taunt Unferths Taunt –Unferth challenges Beowulf –speaks harshly –Calls Beowulf boastful –young and proud Is Unferth on point or he is critical because he himself cannot be a hero like Beowulf? Is Unferth on point or he is critical because he himself cannot be a hero like Beowulf?

25 Unferths Challenge Summary Beowulf responds with little anger Beowulf responds with little anger He continues to reaffirm his strength and bravery He continues to reaffirm his strength and bravery He tells of a time when he swam through the ocean for 5 nights and killed seacreatures with a sword in hand He tells of a time when he swam through the ocean for 5 nights and killed seacreatures with a sword in hand He is a survivor He is a survivor Challenges Unferth Challenges Unferth

26 Unferths Challenge Summary Beowulf becomes more accusatory as time goes on… Beowulf becomes more accusatory as time goes on… Beowulf Says that Unferth killed his own brothers Beowulf Says that Unferth killed his own brothers Hrothgar is very happy to hear all of these promises- ignores any slights that Beowulf makes against the Danes Hrothgar is very happy to hear all of these promises- ignores any slights that Beowulf makes against the Danes Let me live in greatness and courage, or here in this hall welcome my death. Let me live in greatness and courage, or here in this hall welcome my death.

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30 The Battle with Grendels Mother Grendels mother comes to avenge her son Grendels mother comes to avenge her son Beowulf pursues the monster in her lair Beowulf pursues the monster in her lair Beowulf takes a famous sword, lent to him by Unferth named Hrunting Beowulf takes a famous sword, lent to him by Unferth named Hrunting Cuts off her head Cuts off her head

31 The Fight with the Fire Dragon Beowulf becomes king of the Geatland Beowulf becomes king of the Geatland When he is an old man, his land is ravaged by a fire dragon When he is an old man, his land is ravaged by a fire dragon Wiglaf is Beowulfs beloved kinsman and friend and assists him Wiglaf is Beowulfs beloved kinsman and friend and assists him Together, the two defeat the dragon Together, the two defeat the dragon However; Beowulf was fatally injured However; Beowulf was fatally injured Beowulf regrets that he has no heirs Beowulf regrets that he has no heirs

32 The Burning of Beowulfs Body He asks for a great tower to be built in his honor to guide sailors He asks for a great tower to be built in his honor to guide sailors All the jewels he had are gone All the jewels he had are gone his story is sung about his story is sung about Everyone agrees that he was a great king and is worthy of praise Everyone agrees that he was a great king and is worthy of praise

33 Beowulf Final Discussion & Essential Review

34 Essential Background Information Beowulf author is anonymous Beowulf author is anonymous Script dated to A.D. 725 Script dated to A.D. 725 Elements of Christianity (references to one god) and Paganism (sacrifice and resigning to fate) Elements of Christianity (references to one god) and Paganism (sacrifice and resigning to fate) Written in Old English Written in Old English Epic poem Epic poem

35 Setting Time Time –3 rd and 4 th century Place Place –Denmark and Sweden People People –Danes and Geats

36 Themes Inevitability of death Inevitability of death Presence of evil in society Presence of evil in society The need for good to conquer over evil The need for good to conquer over evil Destruction of a proud hero Destruction of a proud hero Defining ones identity Defining ones identity Tension between cultural values Tension between cultural values –Which values should one follow?


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