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Beowulf Text and Context. HELP! I need somebody! ► ► Think of a time when you helped someone in need or someone helped you OR a time when you did NOT.

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Presentation on theme: "Beowulf Text and Context. HELP! I need somebody! ► ► Think of a time when you helped someone in need or someone helped you OR a time when you did NOT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beowulf Text and Context

2 HELP! I need somebody! ► ► Think of a time when you helped someone in need or someone helped you OR a time when you did NOT render help and wish you had. Give a brief summary of the incident then answer the following analysis questions:  What was your/their motivation (why was help rendered?)?  What was the result?  What would have happened if help was not rendered?  Did anyone else offer help? Why/why not?

3 Epic ► Unknown author ► The national epic of England (first work to be composed in English) ► A long heroic poem, about a great legendary warrior renowned for his courage, strength, and dignity.

4 The Beowulf Poet ► Christian; reflects established tradition ► Allusions to the Old Testament ► Beowulf is a Redeemer who is sent by God to save man from sin: ► Christ archetype: Correspondences between Beowulf’s death and the death of Christ ► The price of salvation is life itself

5 The Epic Hero Defeats his enemies using Physical strength Skill as a warrior Nobility of character Quick wits Is not modest – boasting is a ritual Embodies the ideals and values of his people Is eager for fame Because the Germanic tribes believed death was inevitable, warriors sought fame to preserve the memory of their deeds after death A man of high social status whose fate affects the destiny of his people

6 GRENDEL’S CHARACTER Direct CharacterizationIndirect Characterization (Include Line #) Beowulf’s CHARACTER

7 Heroic Values in Beowulf ► Relationship between king and his warriors ► The king rewards his warriors with gifts ► If a kinsman is slain, obligation to kill the slayer or obtain payment (wergeld) in compensation

8 Beowulf on Twitter How would Beowulf react to the arrival? Complete at least 1 tweet for “The Coming of Beowulf” Don’t forget the symbol and the followers!

9 Epic Elements ► ► Most epics are serious in tone and lofty in style, a technique meant to convey the importance of the events. Long speeches by the characters suggest an impressive formality. ► ► Use of kennings

10 Kennings ► ► A kenning is a poetic renaming for a simpler, more concrete noun; for example, storm of swords is a kenning for ► ► Examples of modern day kenning: gas guzzler

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12 Kennings Compound Words Prepositional PhrasesPossessives Sky-candle Whale-road Ring-giver Gold-ringed Battle dew Sea stallion Wolf of wounds Winters of grief Shepard of evil Storm of swords Guardian of the people Path of the sea Seabird’s bath Ocean’s face Heaven’s joy Arrow’s storm Water’s chain Battle’s torch

13 “The Battle with Grendel” Page 48

14 Summarize ► ► —in your own words, define a kenning and an appositive phrase. Give an example of each—turn in before you leave

15 Themes ► Good vs. Evil ► Forces of darkness—irrational and menacing—are always at work in society ► Life is a continuing struggle ► Actions speak louder than words ► Judge the greatness of a human by the greatness of his deeds and noble ancestry ► Help thy neighbor ► To be loyal is to selflessly make sacrifices for a loved one.

16 Conflict Christian Values and Heroic Values ► This tension is at the heart of the poem ► Pagan history and myth are made to point to a Christian moral ► Beowulf is poised between two value systems

17 Mix of pagan and Christian Values ► Fate vs. choice of good and evil ► Mythological monsters vs. references to God and Jesus

18 An Epic reflects the values of the culture that produced it. Complete this chart and draw a conclusion about Anglo-Saxon tastes and values. Feature Why is it pleasing?What values are reflected? Boastful speechesMakes the hero seem superhuman Great hero Lots of action Good Triumphs over evil Anglo Saxons had a _________________ culture. What details reveal the importance of pagan warrior values in Beowulf such as a belief in fate, a taste of boasting, a pride in loyalty, and a desire for fame?

19 Extra Credit Assignment Peer Evaluation: Student name Epic chosen Presentation Evaluation Scale of 1 (awful)-10 (great) Substantial comment After watching the presentations, answer the following question: Why are epics used to preserve values and traditions?

20 Epic Hero Cycle ElementExample The main character is a hero, who is often possessed of super natural abilities or qualities The hero is charged with a quest (call to Adventure) “Crossing the Threshold” Moving from the known to the unknown The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals, and/or human helpers and companions The hero’s travels take him to a supernatural world, often one that normal human beings are barred from entering The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated A resurrection Achieving the goal or the “boon” Restitution. Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne. Return to the ordinary world Applying the “boon”


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