STUDY GUIDE Beowulf : Section One: pages 33-44 BEOWULF MEANS EPIC (n): long narrative poem that recounts, in elevated language, the deeds of a hero. EPITHET (n): Characterizing nickname or phrase – it is literal (“Laertes’ son ”= Odysseus) ALLITERATION (n): Repetition of initial consonant sounds PERSONIFICATION (n): Figure of speech where human qualities are given to inanimate objects. HYPERBOLE (n): Figure of speech which uses exaggeration. (“I’m so hungry, I could eat one million tacos!”) KENNING (n): Old English poetry – a descriptive phrase or compound noun used in the place of a simple noun – it is figurative (whale’s home = sea) ETYMOLOGY (n): the history of words shown by tracing their development from age to age, language to language. FORESHADOWING: A literary technique which hints at events to come. CAESURA: A pause in the middle of a line of poetry used to develop a rhythm pattern (Pages 33-44) 1. According to the first 5 lines, what is Grendel doing? 2. Grendel: 3. Hrothgar: 4. Herot: 5. Danes: 6. According to lines 30-40: - What were the warriors doing when Grendel finds them? - How many of the warriors does Grendel kill? - Where does Grendel take the bodies? - What are lines 64-66 and example of? LAIR (n): a resting or sleeping place (OE: leger----which means “to lie”) On lines 74 and 79 are examples of kennings. Identify them and explain who they describe and how. 7. How is Beowulf described in lines 104-124? List two epithets that are used. 8. How many men does Beowulf take with him when he goes to help Hrothgar? (ln. 121) 9. What does Beowulf say he will carry into battle against Grendel? (ln. 170-174) 10. According to line 189, the outcome of the battle will be decided by . 11. Higlac: 12. Geats: PROW (n): the bow of a ship TAUT (adj.): having no give or slack REPARATION (n): the act of making amends or giving satisfaction for a wrong 13. Why does Grendel relish the sight he sees in Herot? (ln. 250-254) RELISH (v): to be pleased or gratified by 14. How does Beowulf attack Grendel? (ln 270-284) 15. How are Grendel and Beowulf described in lines 310-313? GRENDEL: BEOWULF: 16. What do Beowulf’s men do to try to help him? (ln 316-326) 17. What does Beowulf hang from the rafters? (ln. 355-358) 18. What does the crowd do the next day? (ln. 360-368) 19. Grendel is constantly being compared to a creature much like Satan. What Biblical allusion do we see in the description of the lake? SECTION II: pages 45-51 1. Who is out for revenge? CAIN: 2. Why does Grendel’s mom take only one victim from Herot? (ln. 410) 3. Who does she take? ESHER: 4. Along with the man, what else does she take with her? (ln. 421) 5. Where does she live? MOORS (n): a boggy area of wasteland, usually peaty and dominated by grasses and sedges….like a swamp BROOD (n): the young of an animal or a family of young (OE: brod) 6. Who goes with Beowulf into the lake? HILT (n): the handle of a sword or dagger (OE: healt----which meant “to lame”) SCABBARD (n): a case for a sword or dagger 7. Why does Beowulf throw his sword down? (ln. 487-489) 8. EPITHET on line 508: 9. What does Beowulf do with the giant’s sword? (ln. 520-524) 10. What does he take from Grendel? 11. What did everyone think had happened? (ln. 550-561) 12. Lines 562-568 were probably written by a . 13. What does Beowulf take with him? (ln. 569-571) 14. EPITHET on line 578: SECTION III: pages 52-60 1. What is endangering the Geats? (notice that we are no longer dealing with the Danes) 2. What happens to Beowulf’s sword during his battle with the dragon? (ln. 670-674) 3. What happens to Beowulf’s shield during his fight? (ln. 665-670) 4. What do the Geats do when Beowulf needs their help? (ln. 691-694) 5. Who stays to help Beowulf? (ln. 695) KINSHIP (n): being kin, a group of people with a common ancestry (OE: cyn ---meant “race”) 6. EPITHET on line 697: 7. Where does the dragon wound Beowulf? ---it has tusks with venom on them! 8. What does Beowulf recall about his fifty-year reign? (ln. 742-752) 9. What does Beowulf want Wiglaf to do for him before he dies? (ln. 756-763) 10. Who most likely wrote lines 805-809? Why? 11. What does Beowulf want the Geats to do in honor of him? (ln. 813-819) 12. What do the Geats do with Beowulf’s ashes? (ln. 875) KINDLE (v): to start a fire burning (OE: kindlen---which meant “fire”) PYRE (n): a combustible heap for burning a dead body as a funeral rite LAMENT (v): to mourn out loud INFAMOUS (adj.): known for having a bad reputation (Beowulf was NOT infamous! Grendel was infamous!) 13. What do the twelve Geats do after the tower is finished? (ln. 885-887) 14. Look at your notes and find four traits of the “Warrior Culture” that are exemplified in this section. List the trait and how Beowulf or other characters demonstrate it. 1. 2. 3. 4. 15. After looking at your notes again, list five ways Beowulf meets the criteria for an epic poem. Again, list the criteria along with a description of how the poem meets its requirements. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
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