Key Facts Author- Unknown Type of Work- Poem Original LanguageAnglo-Saxon/Old English Time and Place Written- Between 700-1000AD; Written in England Setting (Time and Place) The main action of story is set around 500AD. The action is taking place in Denmark and Geatland (now Southern Sweden). Whats Happening?
In 449AD an invasion, (that lasted several decades) Angles, Saxons, and Germanic people left northern Europe and began to settle in Britain. The Angles, Saxons, and Germanic tribes were dominated by bloody warfare which drove them to Brit. These people formed the AngloSaxon civilization. And this is where the tale of Warrior Cultur In the Scandinavian (as well as Angles, Saxon, and Germanic) culture, tiny tribes
of people would rely on strong kings to protect them from danger. The warrior culture that results from this feudal arrangement is important to the story and to the understanding of these civilizations. BEOWULFS NARRATOR The narrator is Christian, but the characters are not. At the time (of the story), the northern Germanic societies had
not yet adopted Christianity, unlike the majority of the AngloSaxon population. The Germanic warrior culture was still strong and practiced during this time. The combination of a pagan story with a It is unsure if Beowulf ever really existed, but it is
documented that Beowulfs uncle Hygelec was a historical figure who led a military raid around 525. Historically Accurate? Old English and New English
of spear-armed Danes, rym in days long sped, hu a elingas ellen fremedon. we have heard, and what honor the athelings won! Oft Scyld Scefing fromsceaena reatum, Oft Scyld
the Scefing squadroned foes, from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore, 5awing the earls. Since erst he lay friendless, a foundling, him: ofteah, monegum mgum,fate repaid meodosetla for heegsode waxedeorlas. under welkin,
in wealth he throve, Syan rest wear till before himfunden, the folk, both near, feasceaft he far sand frofre gebad, who weox
houseunder by thewolcnum, whale-path, heard his mandate, weormyndum ah, him ghwylc ara ymbsittendra gave ot him gifts: a good king he! 10 ofer hronrade gomban gyldan.
hyran scolde, t ws god cyning! Epic Poetry An epic is a long narrative poem that celebrates a heros deeds. They survived for centuries as oral tales. They were told by poets from one generation to another. Many epics are based on historical facts. Poets drew upon legends and
existing songs. Characteristics of an Epic 1. The hero (mostly male) is of noble birth or high position and of great historical or legendary importance. 2. The heros traits reflect important ideals of his society. 3. Hero performs courageous and sometimes superhuman deeds. 4. The actions of the hero often determine the fate of a nation or
group of people. 5. There is often more than one nation involved. 6. Poet uses formal diction and a serious tone. 7. Major characters often give long speeches. 8. Plot has supernatural beings or events. May also have a long and dangerous journey through foreign lands. 9. Poem reflects timeless
values, such as courage and Anglo-Saxon/Medieval Poetry Epic Characteristic 1 Kennings: poetic synonyms found in Germanic poems, like Beowulf. Kenning is a descriptive phrase or compound word that substitutes for a noun. Example from Beowulf= the Almightys enemy or sin-stained demon is used in place of Grendels name. Other Examples= world-candle is sun feast of eagles is battle ring-givers is a
generous king ocean whale-road is Ang-Sax Poetry Contin Epic Characteristic 2 Alliteration: the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of the sentence or word. Example from Beowulf- The ancient blade broke, bit into the monsters skin, drew blood. Alliteration is a helpful took for the poet
to remember the thousands of words and lines for epic poems. Ang-Sax Poetry Contin Epic Characteristic 3 Archetype: An archetype is the first real example or prototype An archetype can be considered the ideal model, the supreme type or the perfect image of something
The The The The Hero (Anti) Mother Figure Innocent Teacher/Mentor Oral Characteristics 1. Strong Rhythm Lines 1-7, 233-235, 736-740
2. Repetition of Sounds All Alliteration 3. Repetition of Words and Phrases Lines 3, 18-19 O.C. Contin.. 4. Repetition of Ideas Lines 16, 273 5. Parallel of Grammatical Structures Lines 76-78, 233-234 Oral poetry is the repetition of certain words, phrases, or even lines. Beowulf
Characters, Places, and Themes Geatland (Sweden) to Denmark Beowulf The protagonist who is a Geatish hero. He is the strongest and most able warrior. In his youth he personifies all of
the best values of the heroic culture. In his old age he Grendel A demon descended from Cain. He preys on King Hrothgars warriors in Heorot. His ruthless and miserable
existence is part of the retribution exacted by God for Grendels Mother & The Dragon She is an unnamed swamp-hag who seems to possess fewer human qualities than Grendel. The dragon is
an ancient and powerful serpent who is King Hrothgar and Wiglaf The King of the Danes who is a wise ruler. He is a father figure and model for the kind of king that
Beowulf becomes. Wiglaf is a young kinsman and retainer of Beowulf. He helps Beowulf fight the dragon Beowulf in 3 Parts The story is divided into 3 parts/3 conflicts 1. Grendels attack on Heorot Hall
2. Grendels mother and her vengeance for Grendels death 3. Dragons rage after a thief steals his treasure The overall conflict is between close-knit warrior societies and the various menaces that Themes There are 3 central themes in Beowulf 1. Importance of establishing identity. 2. Tensions between the heroic code and other value systems.
3. The difference between a good warrior and a good king. Important Places: Heorot Heorot is Hrothgars meadhall. Mead-halls important to culture; they provide light and warmth, food and drink, and singing and stories.
Historically, it represents a safe haven for warriors
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