Presentation on theme: "Grade 10 Honors Mr. Esner. Oldest recorded English myth. First recorded in the 8 th century, is set in the 7 th century, but is thought to be much."— Presentation transcript:
Grade 10 Honors Mr. Esner
Oldest recorded English myth. First recorded in the 8 th century, is set in the 7 th century, but is thought to be much older. Told by scops, or Anglo- Saxon poets. Highlights a transition from Celtic/Norse pagan religious beliefs to the growing monotheistic beliefs of Christianity.
Good vs. Evil Hero vs. Villain Light vs. Dark Pagan vs. Christian Old vs. New The Hero’s Quest. The role and growth of the hero. The Comitatus or bond between warriors and kings. Role of fate and the ability to overcome it.
Scop: An Anglo-Saxon poet Epic: An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero. Alliteration: Repetition of consonant sounds. Kenning: A figurative, usually compound expression used in place of a name or noun, especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry; for example, storm of swords is a kenning for battle. Caesura: A pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics. Monomyth: Joseph Campbell’s model for the hero’s quest present in every culture.
Herot is built by the wealthy and powerful king of the Danes, Hrothgar. The is much celebration that creates a disturbing noise to Grendel. Grendel comes in the night murdering thirty men. Grendel continues his reign of terror for twelve years
Word of Herot’s plight reaches Beowulf in Geatland (Southern Sweden). Beowulf, desirous of fame, asks his king, Higlac, to take a party of Geatish warriors (Thanes) to aid the Danes. Beowulf and his men set out for Herot and the Danish shore.
Unferth, an aid to king Hrothgar, doubts the ability of Beowulf to rid the Danes of their monster. He recalls a swimming match with Brecca that Beowulf was unable to win. Beowulf responds in his famous boast that he did not win because he was too busy killing sea monsters. He also notes that Unferth is in no position to speak given his murderous past. Oh snap!
Because Grendel does not use them, Beowulf chooses to fight without a sword or armor. Grendel comes to Herot in the night expecting another feast of Danish warriors but is startled to find sleeping Geats. Something grabs hold of his arm and for the first time Grendel is afraid. After a struggle, Grendel escapes but not before Beowulf tears off his arm. The arm is tacked to the wall in Herot as a trophy and all celebrate the destruction of the monster.
Grendel’s Mother, upset by the murder of her son, comes to Herot in the night to have her revenge and retrieve her son’s arm. Beowulf and his men follow her trail back to her underwater layer. Beowulf dives in and after hours of swimming finds her underwater cave. The two characters fight and Beowulf is nearly defeated. After his sword breaks he finds a large sword made by giants which he uses to decapitate the monster. He takes the head of Grendel as a trophy.
Beowulf returns to Geatland with a wealth of treasure given in thanks by Hrothgar. Higlac dies in battle some time later and Beowulf is elevated to King. Beowulf reigns as king for fifty years. Then some dummy finding a cave full of treasure, which is guarded by a dragon, steals a piece of gold. This enrages the dragon which begins to terrorize the Geats. Beowulf, now an old man, is called back to action.
Beowulf, attempting to fight the dragon alone, finds the for the first time fate is against him. Shield melts, sword breaks, etc. Beowulf suffers a wound to the neck from the poisonous tusk of the dragon. Wiglaf, alone, comes to the aid of Beowulf citing all the greatness and glory that Beowulf has bestowed on their people. The two fight together and with the aid of Wiglaf, Beowulf is able to defeat the dragon by cutting it in half.
Before dying Beowulf makes to requests. The first is that Wiglaf retrieve the dragon’s treasure. The second is that a tower be built in his honor on the coast so that all sailors can be reminded of him. Beowulf is burned on a funeral pyre as his people lament his passing. A tower is built in his honor by the sea for passing sailors to acknowledge.