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Presentation on theme: "BEOWULF."— Presentation transcript:


2 Essential Questions: What is an epic?

3 EPICS An epic is “a long narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society” 5 Epic Characteristics: Great leader who identifies strongly with a group of people Setting is broad and often includes supernatural realms Hero does great deeds and undertakes a quest or journey Gods or other supernatural beings aid in the quest Story is told in heightened language

4 EPICS EPIC CONVENTIONS- Shared characteristics of epics writers drew upon to establish the epic quality of their poems. 5 Epic Conventions: Invocation of the muse Action begins “in medias res” Flash backs occur often to help with understanding Epic Similes- relating heroic events to simple ones Epithets- descriptive phrase that presents a particular trait

5 EPIC HERO Talk to someone near you and jot down a few characteristics an epic hero would possess.

6 Famous Epic Heroes

7 What makes an Epic hero? Special circumstances surrounding his/her birth Special qualities revealed in his/her youth Has a tragic flaw/weakness Superman was born on Krypton Super strength used to save Pa on the farm Kryptonite

8 What makes a hero? Status/place is challenged Goes on a quest
Heroic death Lex Luther tries to kill Superman Superman goes to save Lois Lane

9 Prediction: Which characteristics of an epic hero do you think will be most important in this story and why?

10 The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic?
(1) Comitatus (2) Mead Hall (3) Christianity vs. Pagan / Roman / Norse Rituals (4) Herot (5) Hrothgar (6) Grendel

11 The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic?
Comitatus - Germanic code of loyalty. (reciprocity) Thanes (warriors) swore loyalty to their king (honor / protect) King must be generous in return (give treasure / land) Kings praised for generosity and hospitality. Warriors praised for courage and loyalty

12 The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic?
Mead Hall - center of civilization Socializing History preserved (scop – oral poet) Reputations built (brag; give gifts) Sign of tribe’s strength; safe place (sleep)

13 What are some present-day mead halls and examples of comitatus?

14 The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic?
Christianity vs. Pagan / Roman / Norse Rituals Poem recorded in 400 A.D. However, Anglo’s originally pagan; changed to Christianity after 600 A.D Therefore; historians believe poem is transcribed by a Christian monk

15 The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic?
Memento Mori – ‘remember death’ no afterlife; therefore, achieve immortality by deeds (preserve soul) through reputation. Adoration – to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; to honor and worship – idolize The goal of Anglo Saxon society was to attain adoration and fame in order to obtain immortality Methods = poem, statue, memorial,…

16 Quick Facts About the Anglo Saxons
Actually this term is used to describe a culture composed of the Anglos, Saxons, Jutes, and Geats They were Germanic tribes thought to be “guns for hire” – mercenaries (brutal, ruthless, scavengers, though actually regimented and organized) Sent to take Great Britain from Romans / Britons – They stay! Tribal Life – small clans / armies (loyalty and strength were very important) Although vicious they had values = loyalty Killing a fellow member of one’s tribe was the worst possible crime

17 The Anglo-Saxons Elegiac Mood –awareness of the passing of time / life
EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic? Elegiac Mood –awareness of the passing of time / life

18 The Monster Grendel EQ: What symbolism is evident in the establishment of the plot’s conflict? Important Vocabulary: Herot: mead hall Hrothgar: generous king (Dane) Grendel: descendent of Cain; Biblical Allusion = brother slayer (worst Anglo Saxon crime); demon race (outsider) Laments: cries of grief Reparation – payment for wrongdoing (crimes; sins) Solace - peace

19 The Monster Grendel Review of plot development: Characterization:
Grendel – evil, outsider, anarchy Hrothgar – generous Danish king Beowulf- hero, Geat Herot – great mead hall (civilization) under attack Theme(s): Good vs. Evil Chaos vs. Order (Anglo’s Civilization) Foreshadowing: Wergild (man-price) – must be paid for the 30 men slaughtered. (Beowulf)

20 Quick Facts About the Anglo Saxons
Riddles – beauty in mystery = quickness of mind = intellectual strength Boast – confidence was very important must be able to back up what you boast claims

21 In Modern English (Riddle 49)
RIDDLE ME THIS!!!! In Modern English (Riddle 49) Christ the true giver of victories, created me for combat. When my lord urged me to fight, I often scorch mortals; I approach the earth and, without a touch, afflict a huge host of people. At times I gladden the minds of men, keeping my distance. I console those whom I fought before; they feel my kindness as they once felt my fire when, after such suffering, I soothe their lives.

22 RIDDLE ME THIS!!!! In Modern English (Riddle 46)
A stalk of the living, I nothing said; Dumb, stand waiting to join the dead. I have risen before and will rise again Though plunderers carve and split my skin, Bite through my bare body, shear my head, Hold me hard in a slicing bed. I do not bite a man unless he bites me, But the number of men who bite is many In Old English (Riddle 46) Cwico wæs ic--ne cwæð ic wiht; cwele ic efne seþeah. Ær ic wæs, eft ic cwom; æghwa mec reafað, hafað mec on headre, ond min heafod scireþ, biteð mec on bær lic, briceð mine wisan. Monnan ic ne bite, nympþe he me bite; sindan þara monige þe mec bitað.

23 In Modern English (Riddle 48) In Old English (Riddle 48)
RIDDLE ME THIS!!!! In Modern English (Riddle 48) I saw close to the houses of men A strange creature that feeds cattle. By tooth-hoard and nose-haul (A useful slave), it scruffs the ground, Scratches at plants, dogs walls Or drags fields for plunder-seeks A crop-catch and carries it home. Its prey is bent stalk and weak root; Its gift is firm grain and full flower On a glittering plain-growing, blooming. In Old English (Riddle 48) Ic wiht geseah     in wera burgum, seo þæt feoh fedeð.      Hafað fela toþa; nebb biþ hyre æt nytte,     niþerweard gongeð, hiþeð holdlice      ond to ham tyhð, wæþeð geond weallas,      wyrte seceð; Aa heo þa findeð,     þa þe fæst ne biþ; læteð hio þa wlitigan,     wyrtum fæste, stille stondan      on staþolwonge, beorhte blican,      blowan ond growan.

24 Make Some Predictions Why has Beowulf come?
How will people react to Beowulf? What will happen to him?

25 Think about the qualities of modern heroes and the kinds of enemies they battle.
Modern-day Hero Heroic Deeds Enemies Abilities Virtues Use the chart to record phrases that describe today’s heroes. As you read, decide if Beowulf displays any of the qualities you listed.

26 Characteristics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry
Poetic Device Definition Example Alliteration same consonant sound miserable mighty men Caesura obvious pause in a line of poetry. (middle of a line) A prince of the Geats, // had killed Grendel Kenning metaphorical phrase used instead of a simple noun to identify something with something it is not whale-road for sea life-house for body

27 Background of Story Oral narrative
Action of the poem takes place around 500 AD Revival of the heroic language, style, and values of ancient Germanic oral poetry Danes and the Geats Only a single manuscript of the poem survived the Anglo-Saxon era. Lots of Christian references and undertones in writing J.R.R Tolkien

28 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 (wergild) in compensation

29 The Character of Beowulf
He fights for personal honor, but is committed to service to his own people and humanity. A superhuman who remains recognizable Contrast old and young Beowulf Beowulf as savior

30 Review of terms you’ll want to know
scop A bard or story-teller. The scop was responsible for praising deeds of past heroes, for recording history, and for providing entertainment

31 Review of terms you’ll want to know
thane A warrior mead-hall The large hall where the lord and his warriors slept, ate, held ceremonies, etc.

32 Review of terms you’ll want to know
wyrd Fate. This idea crops up a lot in the poem, while at the same time there are Christian references to God’s will.

33 Themes and Important Aspects
Good vs. Evil Religion: Christian and Pagan influences The importance of wealth and treasure The importance of the sea and sailing The sanctity of the home Fate Loyalty and allegiance Heroism and heroic deeds

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