3Beowulf Introducing the Epic Beowulf isthe first great work ofEnglish national literature.the epic story of the hero Beowulf, who fights the demonic monster Grendel.
4Beowulf Introducing the Epic PeopleBeowulf: nephew of Higlac, king of the Geats.Hrothgar: king of the Danes.Wiglaf: a Geat warrior, one of Beowulf’s select band and the only one to help him in his final fight with the dragon.
5Beowulf Introducing the Epic MonstersGrendel: man-eating monster who lives at the bottom of a foul mere, or mountain lake.Grendel’s mother: water-witch who seeks revenge.Dragon: giant fire-breathing serpent whom Beowulf fights in Part Two of the epic.
6Beowulf Introducing the Epic PlacesBeowulf takes place in Scandinavia.ScandinaviaBritainScholars think Herot might have been built on the coast of Zealand, in Denmark.
7Beowulf Introducing the Epic PlacesHerot: the golden guest hall built by King Hrothgar where warriors gathered to celebrate.[End of Section]
8Beowulf Literary Focus: The Epic Hero The epic hero is the central figure in a long narrative that reflects the values and heroic ideals of a particular society.An epic is a quest story on a grand scale.
9Beowulf Literary Focus: The Epic Hero Beowulf is one of ancient England’s heroes.Other times and other cultures have had other heroes.King ArthurJoan of Arc
10Beowulf Literary Focus: The Epic Hero In modern America, the hero may be a real person or a fictional character.[End of Section]
11Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Beowulf was composed in Old English, which uses a caesura, or rhythmic pause, to create unity.Locate the caesura in these lines:ða com of more under misthleoþum Grendel gongan, godes yrre bær; mynte se manscaða manna cynnes sumne besyrwan in sele þam hean.Line divided into two parts by a caesura.
12Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Here are the same lines in modern English from Burton Raffel’s translation:Out from the marsh, from the foot of mistyHills and bogs, bearing God’s hatred,Grendel came, hoping to killAnyone he could trap on this trip to high Herot.Punctuation reproduces pause effect of the caesura.
13Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf The Anglo-Saxon oral poet also used the poetic device of alliteration.Grendel gongan, godes yrre bær; mynte se manscaða manna cynnes
14Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Alliteration: the repetition of consonant sounds in words close together.And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.The emphasis on the w sound in this line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 creates a melancholy tone.
15Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Find examples of alliteration in Burton Raffel’s translation of lines 1-5:Out from the marsh, from the foot of mistyHills and bogs, bearing God’s hatred,Grendel came, hoping to killAnyone he could trap on this trip to high Herot.
16Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Find examples of alliteration in Burton Raffel’s translation of lines 1-5:Out from the marsh, from the foot of mistyHills and bogs, bearing God’s hatred,Grendel came, hoping to killAnyone he could trap on this trip to high Herot.
17Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf The kenning is another poetic device that was used by the oral poet.Examples of kennings from Beowulf:gold-shining hall= Herotguardian of crime = Grendelstrong-hearted wakeful sleeper = Beowulfcave-guard and sky-borne foe = dragon
18Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Kenning: a metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly.A kenning enhances the literal meaning of the words. A kenning gives the listener an idea of how the words connect to an idea or concept that is richer and more emotionally complex.
19Beowulf The Poetry of Beowulf Create modern-day kennings for things you see around you.giver of wordsword-wand??Kitten: purr-full delight, mew-madnessSinger: siren of song, melody-museRacing car: road-shark, roar-racerAirplane: soar-silver streak, sky’s arrow??[End of Section]
20Beowulf Background Beowulf is an oral epic passed from bard to bard. Harpist-bards told the familiar story for audiences in the communal halls at night.Written down between 700 and 750.Reconstructed Anglo-Saxon village in West Stow, England, with communal hall on the left.
21Beowulf Background Who wrote it down? Theory: Evidence: The poet who wrote Beowulf down may have been a Northumbrian monk.Evidence:scenery described resembles Northumbria (northeastern England)Christian elements in epic[End of Section]
23Beowulf Quickwrite Make the Connection Write about a contemporary hero, real or fictional, and the challenges he or she faces. Describe your hero, and then briefly analyze him or her using these questions:What sort of evil or oppression does your hero confront?Why does he or she confront evil? What’s the motivation?For whom does your hero confront evil?What virtues does your hero represent?[End of Section]
25Beowulf Vocabulary Previewing the Vocabulary resolute adj.: determined.vehemently adv.: violentlyinfallible adj.: unable to fail or be wrongfurled v.: rolled up.lavish adj.: extravagantassail v.: attackextolled v.: praised
26Beowulf Vocabulary Previewing the Vocabulary: Activity resolute furled extolled assailvehemently lavish infallibleWhich Word……is often used in reference to a flag?________describes someone who is stubborn?________describes how someone might argue about a subject he or she feels strongly about?___________is a synonym for praised? __________describes someone who cannot fail?_________describes someone who gives generous gifts?________is another way of saying attack? ________furledresolutevehementlyextolledinfalliblelavishassail[End of Section]