3EPICSAn 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 peopleSetting is broad and often includes supernatural realmsHero does great deeds and undertakes a quest or journeyGods or other supernatural beings aid in the questStory is told in heightened language
4EPICSEPIC CONVENTIONS- Shared characteristics of epics writers drew upon to establish the epic quality of their poems.5 Epic Conventions:Invocation of the museAction begins “in medias res”Flash backs occur often to help with understandingEpic Similes- relating heroic events to simple onesEpithets- descriptive phrase that presents a particular trait
5EPIC HEROTalk to someone near you and jot down a few characteristics an epic hero would possess.
7What makes an Epic hero?Special circumstances surrounding his/her birthSpecial qualities revealed in his/her youthHas a tragic flaw/weaknessSuperman was born on KryptonSuper strength used to save Pa on the farmKryptonite
8What makes a hero? Status/place is challenged Goes on a quest Heroic deathLex Luther tries to kill SupermanSuperman goes to save Lois Lane
9Prediction:Which characteristics of an epic hero do you think will be most important in this story and why?
10The 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
11The 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
12The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic? Mead Hall - center of civilizationSocializingHistory preserved (scop – oral poet)Reputations built (brag; give gifts)Sign of tribe’s strength; safe place (sleep)
13What are some present-day mead halls and examples of comitatus?
14The Anglo-Saxons EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic? Christianity vs. Pagan / Roman / Norse RitualsPoem recorded in 400 A.D.However, Anglo’s originally pagan; changed to Christianity after 600 A.DTherefore; historians believe poem is transcribed by a Christian monk
15The 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 – idolizeThe goal of Anglo Saxon society was to attain adorationand fame in order to obtain immortalityMethods = poem, statue, memorial,…
16Quick Facts About the Anglo Saxons Actually this term is used to describe a culture composed of theAnglos, Saxons, Jutes, and GeatsThey 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 = loyaltyKilling a fellow member of one’s tribe wasthe worst possible crime
17The 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
18The Monster GrendelEQ: What symbolism is evident in the establishment of the plot’s conflict?Important Vocabulary:Herot: mead hallHrothgar: generous king (Dane)Grendel: descendent of Cain; Biblical Allusion = brotherslayer (worst Anglo Saxon crime); demon race(outsider)Laments: cries of griefReparation – payment for wrongdoing (crimes; sins)Solace - peace
19The Monster Grendel Review of plot development: Characterization: Grendel – evil, outsider, anarchyHrothgar – generous Danish kingBeowulf- hero, GeatHerot – great mead hall (civilization) under attackTheme(s):Good vs. EvilChaos vs. Order (Anglo’s Civilization)Foreshadowing:Wergild (man-price) – must be paid for the 30 menslaughtered. (Beowulf)
20Quick Facts About the Anglo Saxons Riddles – beauty in mystery = quickness of mind =intellectual strengthBoast – confidence was very importantmust be able to back up what you boast claims
21In 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.
22RIDDLE 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 againThough 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 manyIn 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 monigeþe mec bitað.
23In 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.
24Make Some Predictions Why has Beowulf come? How will people react to Beowulf?What will happen to him?
25Think about the qualities of modern heroes and the kinds of enemies they battle. Modern-day HeroHeroic DeedsEnemiesAbilitiesVirtuesUse the chart to record phrases that describe today’s heroes. As you read, decide if Beowulf displays any of the qualities you listed.
26Characteristics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry Poetic DeviceDefinitionExampleAlliterationsame consonant soundmiserablemighty menCaesuraobvious pause in a line of poetry. (middle of a line)A prince of the Geats, // had killed GrendelKenningmetaphorical phrase used instead of a simple noun to identify something with something it is notwhale-road for sealife-house for body
27Background of Story Oral narrative Action of the poem takes place around 500 ADRevival of the heroic language, style, and values of ancient Germanic oral poetryDanes and the GeatsOnly a single manuscript of the poem survived the Anglo-Saxon era.Lots of Christian references and undertones in writingJ.R.R Tolkien
28Heroic Values in Beowulf Relationship between king and his warriorsThe king rewards his warriors with giftsIf a kinsman is slain, obligation to kill the slayer or obtain payment (wergild) in compensation
29The Character of Beowulf He fights for personal honor, but is committed to service to his own people and humanity.A superhuman who remains recognizableContrast old and young BeowulfBeowulf as savior
30Review of terms you’ll want to know scopA bard or story-teller.The scop was responsible for praising deeds of past heroes, for recording history, and for providing entertainment
31Review of terms you’ll want to know thaneA warriormead-hallThe large hall where the lord and his warriors slept, ate, held ceremonies, etc.
32Review of terms you’ll want to know wyrdFate. This idea crops up a lot in the poem, while at the same time there are Christian references to God’s will.
33Themes and Important Aspects Good vs. EvilReligion: Christian and Pagan influencesThe importance of wealth and treasureThe importance of the sea and sailingThe sanctity of the homeFateLoyalty and allegianceHeroism and heroic deeds