Beowulf Beowulf Journal How

How do you think the hero works in society?
 Choose ONE hero that you have seen represented
 in the MEDIA—that’s tv, music, in the news, etc.
 What are the qualities that make this individual a
 hero? What affect does this have on society or
 expression? This is a huge open-ended question!
 Go with your gut! Find someone or something
 that amuses you! You do not need to agree with
 this person as a hero!
What is a hero?

        Do heroes still exist
         in our culture?
        What role do heroes
        What can a hero tell
         us about our
Is Batman a hero?
What about Wolverine?
John McCain
        Why read Beowulf?
First known English action fiction

The only surviving epic of early Anglo-Saxon

Thomas Jefferson saw Anglo-Saxon society,
 particularly the mythical heroes Hengst &
 Horsa, as emblems of American democracy.
National Mythology
         A poem about
          Vikings and violence
          in Scandinavia

         Written by two
          unknown monks in
          England between
          600 and 1000 AD
A long narrative poem describing the
 adventures and deeds of heroic or
 legendary figures or the history of a

What epics have you read or heard
 about? What kinds of characteristics
 does an epic have?
    Epic Conventions: What
        makes an epic?
The hero is “larger than life,” being of
 great (inter)national stature.
The setting is vast in scope, covering
 large geographical distances
The action consists of deeds of great
 valor or superhuman courage
         Epic Conventions
Supernatural forces-- gods, angels and
 demons-- interest themselves in the
 action and intervene at times

An elevated or formal style

The poet remains objective
 Additional Epic Conventions!
Opens by stating the theme and often
 invokes a muse
Narrative begins in medias res, meaning “in
 the middle of things” with the hero at a low
 point. Earlier events are told as flashbacks.
Epic simile:differs from the ordinary simile by
 being grand, ornate or extraordinary.
Who is your epic hero?
     Muhammad Ali?
What are examples of modern
      How might these
   characteristics apply?

Share with your table group!
  Examples: Braveheart, Star Wars, Troy, Terminator, Troy,
         300, Gladiator, Gone with the Wind, Glory


Jigsaw reading
            Day 2- Journal
            “So young men build
The future, wisely open-handed in peace,
Protected in war; so warriors earn
Their fame, and wealth is shaped with a

Does war bring peace in society or does it just
  bring more war? Are “fame” and “wealth”
  satisfying in themselves? What current
  references resemble this quote from Beowulf?
                    In Translation

                Know it!   Heard        No clue!
                           it/Seen it


Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the root,
And bathed every veyne in swish licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
So priketh hem nature in hir corage;
Thanne longen folk to goon on prilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
Old English
      Prologue & Chapter 1
Shild- funeral,
  abandoned child,
  Danes-kingless &
Hrothgar- Herot
Grendel- descended
  from Cain
Why does the book begin with a
Why does Hrothgar build Herot? Why
 does Herot burn?
Why does Grendel dislike the Danes?
Hrothgar and Grendel
          “A powerful monster living
            down in the darkness,
            growled in pain,
          As day after day, the
            music rang loud in the
            hall, sung
          Of the ancient beginning
            of us all.”
Day 3
              Visual Beowulf
Lego Beowulf
 List 5 elements of the
  plot in the order that
  they appear
                                   QuickTime™ and a

 Describe one
                            are needed to see this picture.

  “modernization” to this
  Beowulf. Why is this