Old English & Beowulf

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					       Sentence Correction
• This story from the misty regions of
  Englands past is about a hero. To save
  people, he faces the following violence,
  horror, and even death. The epics events
  take place in the distant past but this story
  still speaks to people today. Perhaps
  beowulf is interesting because their are
  still so many people in need of a hero, or
  rescuer. Beowulf is ancient englands
  hero.
       Sentence Correction
• This story, from the misty regions of
  England’s past, is about a hero. To save
  people, he faces the following: violence,
  horror, and even death. The epic’s events
  take place in the distant past, but this story
  still speaks to people today. Perhaps
  Beowulf is interesting because there are
  still so many people in need of a hero, or
  rescuer. Beowulf is ancient England’s
  hero.
Old English & Anglo-Saxons

             • Take notes on the
               following terms: epic
               poem, epic hero, oldest
               English story, bard/scop,
               burden of the bards,
               kenning, alliteration,
               assonance, hyperbole,
               and animism.
What do these stories have in common?
                     •   The Odyssey
                     •   The Illiad
                     •   Gilgamesh
                     •   Beowulf

                     • They are long, old stories with
                       poetic lines that have regular
                       meter and rhythm.
                     • The main characters are
                       heroes with superhuman
                       qualities
                     • They have mythology: gods or
                       godlike beings
                     • The action takes the route of
                       journey or adventure and the
                       outcome involves an entire
                       race or country.
Epic poem =
• A long narrative poem
  that relates the great
  deeds of a larger-
  than-life hero who
  embodies the values
  of a particular society.
Epic hero =
• The central figure in a
  long narrative that
  reflects the values
  and heroic ideas of a
  society.
             Epic Heroes
• Who are our heroes?
• What qualities do they have?
• How can a hero reflect or show what
  values a culture has?
      Beowulf: The Oldest English Story
     Old English          Middle English                Modern English

500 - - - - - - - - - - -1066 - - - - - - - - - - 1485 - - - - - - - - - - present
      Beowulf              Canterbury Tales       Macbeth       Frankenstein
    composed in 700         started in 1387        1605             1818

• Beowulf, composed by scops or bards around the year 700 and
  written in Old English, is the oldest English story that we know
  of today.
• It was passed by word of mouth for approximately 300 years
  before it was finally written down by an unknown Christian
  scribe and poet around the year 1000. This forgotten poet is
  believed to have changed it from a story with pagan beliefs to
  one with Christian morals, the story we know today.
• Knowing the history of this story is important because Beowulf
  was a very different as an Anglo-Saxon oral tale compared to
  what it became after it was written down by a Christian scribe
  who changed it to teach moral lessons of faith in one God.
•   Originally, Anglo-Saxon
    stories were passed down
    orally by story tellers called
    bards or scops. These
    bards were important
    because their stories could
    do the following:
•   Preserve bits of history,
•   Create heroes,
•   Provide a way for soldiers to
    be remembered after their
    dutiful deaths
•   For a culture that did not
    believe in an afterlife,
    stories past from generation
    to generation were the only
    way to be remembered – to
    cheat death.
      Burden of the bards . . .
• Bards or scops had a tough job of
  remembering so many lines.
• The story of Beowulf, for example, is
  around 3,200 lines long.
• Two literary devices that helped the bards
  remember their lines were kennings and
  alliteration.
                      Kennings
•   Kennings are descriptive figures of speech or
    compound words that take the place of a common
    noun. In short, they are multiple-word nicknames.
• They were used as stock phrases to help the bards
    with the following:
1. Add descriptive detail to the story
2. Bide time while thinking of the next line
3. Flatter the thanes and soldiers and kings
As you read “The Battle with Grendel” (p 30-32), find as
    many kennings for Grendel, the monster, as you
    can. Write down all the examples that you find.
Kennings for Grendel

              •   “mankind’s enemy”
              •   “shepherd of evil”
              •   “guardian of crime”
              •   “infamous killer”
   Kennings for Grendel continued. . .

• “Almighty’s
  enemy”
• “hell’s captive”
• “sin-stained
  demon”
• “afflictor of men”
                    Alliteration

• Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in
  words that are close to one another.

• Alliteration is an essential feature in Anglo-Saxon
  poetry. Often, in just one line of Anglo-Saxon poetry,
  two or three of the stressed syllables alliterate.

• Look for alliteration in the following lines from Beowulf:
  the Battle with Grendel’s mother (p.34-35). Write
  down examples that you find.
“Then he saw
The mighty water witch and
swung his sword,
His ring-marked blade,
(went) straight at her head;
The iron sang its fierce song,
(and)
Sang Beowulf’s strength. . .”
“Then he saw
The mighty water witch and
swung his sword,
His ring-marked blade,
(went) straight at her head;
The iron sang its fierce
song, (and)
Sang Beowulf’s strength. . .”
“Then he saw
The mighty water witch and
swung his sword,
His ring-marked blade,
(went) straight at her head;
The iron sang its fierce song,
(and)
Sang Beowulf’s strength. . .”
                Assonance

• Assonance = the repetition of similar vowel
  sounds in words that are close together.
• Assonant vowels must be followed by
  different consonants, otherwise the words
  are rhymes, not assonants.
• For example, the words face and base rhyme
  while the words face and fade are assonant.
                   Hyperbole
• A figure of speech that uses exaggeration to
  express strong emotion or create a comic effect.
• Hyperboles are also known as overstatements
  used to make a point.
• Examples:
  – “It’s a 150 degrees in the shade!”
  – “Kill yo self!”
• The tale of Beowulf is full of kennings,
  alliteration, assonance and hyperboles.
                    Animism
Before the Romans invaded the British isles and
  introduced Christianity, the religion of the Celts
  (the creators of the original Beowulf) was a form
  of animism which comes from the Latin word
  spirit. Animism is the belief that all natural things
  have a spirit. “The Celts saw spirits everywhere
  – in rivers, trees, stones, ponds, fire, and
  thunder. According to the Celts, these spirits or
  gods controlled all aspects of nature, and they
  had to be constantly satisfied. Priests called
  druids acted as intermediaries between the gods
  and the people. . . .
. . .Some think that Stonehenge was used by the
(Celtic) Druids for religious rights having to do
with the lunar and solar cycles” (Holt, Rinehart & Winston 2000).
Slides 28-30 = Tours to Europe
Last year’s tour to London & Paris
This year’s tour to Italy & Spain!
• Day 1 - Fly overnight to Italy   • Chiesa di Santa Croce
• Day 2 - Rome                     • Gates of Paradise
  Arrive in Rome                     Visit the Duomo
• Day 3 - Rome                       See a leather-making
  Take a guided tour of Vatican      demonstration
  City                               Enjoy free time in Florence
  Visit the Sistine Chapel         • Day 6 - Florence • Night ferry
  Visit St. Peter’s Basilica         Travel via Pisa
  Take a guided tour of Rome:        See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
• Forum Romanum                      Visit the Pisa Baptistery
  Visit the Colosseum                Visit the Pisa Cathedral
  Take a walking tour of Rome:       Travel to Livorno
• Trevi Fountain                     Board a night ferry to Barcelona
• Pantheon                         • Day 7 - Barcelona
                                     Arrive in Barcelona
• Day 4 - Assisi • Florence        • Day 8 - Barcelona
  Travel via Assisi                  Take a guided tour of
  Visit the Basilica of St.          Barcelona
  Francis                            Visit Parque Guell
  Continue on to Florence            Take a walking tour of
• Day 5 - Florence                   Barcelona:
  Take a guided tour of            • Las Ramblas
  Florence:                          Optional: Barcelona Flamenco
• Piazza della Signoria              Evening
• Ponte Vecchio                    • Day 9 - Depart for home

				
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