Presentation on theme: "Beowulf A Primer It is always better To avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning. For every one of us, living in this world Means waiting for our end."— Presentation transcript:
Beowulf A Primer It is always better To avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning. For every one of us, living in this world Means waiting for our end. Let whoever can Win glory before death. When a warrior is gone, That will be his best and only bulwark. [1384–9]
The least you need to know… BeowulfBeowulf was composed sometime between the middle of the seventh century and the end of the tenth century in the language that is today called Anglo-Saxon or Old English.Old English
Here’s what the first lines of Beowulf look like in Old English… Hwæt w ē G ā r-Dena in ge ā r-dagum þ ē od-cyninga þrym gefr ū non, H ū đā æþelingas ellen fremendon. And here’s what they sound like.here’s
Here’s what they sound like… Hwæt w ē G ā r-Dena in ge ā r-dagum þ ē od-cyninga þrym gefr ū non, H ū đā æþelingas ellen fremendon.
The least you need to know… Beowulf is an epic poem that’s more than 3,000 lines long, and it’s one of the foundational works of poetry in English. It’s an epic.an epic
The least you need to know… Beowulf is the story’s hero, and he’s a really big deal among the warriors in the land of the Geats, a territory situated in what is now southern Sweden.southern Sweden.
Epic poem You could also call an epic poem a heroic narrative. An epic is a long, narrative poem that’s typically derived from ancient oral tradition and focuses on the heroic deeds and adventures of legendary figures or nations.
The Odyssey The Illiad Star Wars Lord of the Rings Harry Potter Other epic stories you may know…
Back to Beowulf and the least you need to know… The poem was written in England, but the events it describes are set in Scandinavia, in a “once upon a time” that is partly historical.
Now, a note on names… Old English contains many compound words, most of which have been lost in translation. Most of the names in Beowulf are compounds. Hrothgar, for instance, is a combination of words meaning “glory” and “spear”.
A few more notes on names… Family names often alliterate. Masculine names of the warrior class have military association. Characters are identified in terms of familial relationships, so Beowulf is referred to as “son of Ecgtheow” or “kinsman of Hygelac” (his uncle and lord).
And finally, the least you need to know to finally get started… The story moves the audience through three epic (classic, larger-then-life, heroic) battles, which embody the classic good vs. evil clash. Early in the poem, Beowulf encounters his first struggle when he crosses the sea to the land of the Danes to rid their country of a man-eating monster, Grendel. Besides our hero, this is who we’ll get acquainted with.
He’s a man eater. Almost everything I know about this I learned at Wikipedia. A little pop culture, prior knowledge tie-in.
Your assignment: Jump in! Interact with the text: Highlight important words and phrases 442 it.