VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 14 POSTED ON: 10/4/2011
Beowulf: History, Heroes, and Homework You might want to know. . . • EPIC: A long narrative poem, sometimes developed orally, that celebrates the deeds of a legendary or heroic figure • BEOWULF Epic poem composed and written down between 8th and 11th centuries based on events in 6th century Scandinavia, passed down orally in Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Old English http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/beowulf/ - Lit Guide Lines 4-7a Lines 1-3 Lines 7b-11 Lines 12-16a Short Timeline of Early English History: Celts and Romans • 800-600 BC: The clannish farmers and hunters known as Celts invade British Iles • 55 BC: Romans invade and rule for 300 years until 407 AD, when they leave to defend Rome • c 407 AD: Germanic tribes, Anglo-Saxons, invade, but Celtic Christianity survives • Late 6th century: monasteries built, coversion occurs Short Timeline of Early English History: Anglo Saxon Period • 9th Century: Norse and Danes (Vikings) pirate their way through Br. Iles, and most of Northern, Eastern, and Central England falls- burning monasteries, killing, stealing • 871- Anglo-Saxon Alfred the Great ascends to Wessex throne and resists further Danish expansion • 886: Truce divides England formally between Anglo-Saxons and Danish– Saxons in the South and Danish in the North and East • End of 10th Century: More Danes invade, attempting to widen Danelaw (area ruled by Danes). They succeed, forcing Saxons under the rule of Danish kings • 1042: Line of kings returns to Edward the Confessor, a descendant of Alfred the Great (restoring an Anglo-Saxon to the throne) • 1066: Edward dies, ending the Anglo Saxon period Short Timeline of Early English History: Normans • 1066: William, Duke of Normandy (descendants of Vikings invading France in 9th Century) claims Edwards throne due to reputed promise and family ties– wins throne at Battle of Hastings • Over next 5 years: William suppresses Anglo- Saxon nobility, spreading feudalism • 1154: Norman rule ends when Henry, Count of Anjou, establishes House of Plantagenet Short Timeline of Early English History: Plantagenets, Lancasters, Yorks, Oh My • 1170: Four of Henry II’s knights kill Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, because of a disagreement between Henry and Thomas. Henry atones by making pilgrimage to Henry’s tomb at Canterbury • 1215: King John signs Magna Carta to ease strife with barons over raised taxes- first English constitutional gov’t • 1399: House of Lancaster replaces House of Plantagenet (Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI) • 1455-1485: War of the Roses- Lancaster v. York • War ends when Yorkist Henry VII defeats Richard the III and marries Richard’s niece, uniting the two families • 14th Century- Feudalism on the decline Guiding Questions • What impact hid Anglo Saxon language and literature have on today’s English language and culture? • What influence over contemporary literature has the epic and the epic hero? • How is Beowulf a product of it’s time? Heroism and the Heroic Journey • Otto Rank- Myth and Birth of the Hero • Joseph Campbell- The Hero with a Thousand Faces • Both men studied myths and traditional stories (i.e. oral tradition hint hint), noticing certain patterns, leading to their theories about the hero and the heroic journey, particularly Campell’s “monomyth” Otto Rank’s Pattern for the Life of a Hero 1. Born of mysterious or 7. Often accompanied by obscure origin friends, servants, or 2. Neither fools nor disciples invincible 8. Usually has guide (s) 3. Often faces a threat 9. Descends into darkness, when young and must often involving water or be hidden wilderness 4. Hero’s way isn’t always 10. Profoundly changed direct or clear 11. Usually, what the hero 5. Has a goal seeks is no more than a 6. Journey is surrounded symbol of what he really by danger, temptation, finds and loneliness. 12. Suffers physical or psychological wound Joseph Campbell’s Heroic Journey 1. Ordinary World- before journey begins 2. Call to adventure- presented with an adventure or challenge 3. Refusal of call- refuses journey or challenge 4. Meeting with the mentor- meets mentor to gain confidence, advice, or training for the adventure 5. Crossing the first threshold- crosses gateway that separates the ordinary world from the special world 6. Cahllenges and temptations: hero faces tests, meets allies, confronts enemies, and learns rules of the Special World Joseph Campbell’s Heroic Journey Cont’d 7. Approach: hero hits setbacks during tests and may need to reorganize with help 8. Ordeal: biggest life or death crisis- hero faces his greatest fear and is reborn 9. Reward: survives death, overcomes fear, and earns the reward necessary to finish 10. Road Back: hero must recommit to the journey and travel back to Ordinary World 11. Resurrection: most dangerous meeting with death, applying wisdom earned on journey 12. Return : returns with that which heals physical or emotional wounds Your Assignment • How is Beowulf poetic? • How is Beowulf heroic? • How is Beowulf Anglo-Saxon? • How is Beowulf part of the oral tradition? Each group must create a power point to answer their question. The presentation must have at least 6 slides(1 title and 5 example slides). The 5 example slides must include one piece of proof for your answer and an example from the text with the page number. Use quotations from the ENTIRE text, not just pps 1-23 Homework • Review your notes, thinking about issues arising from today’s class • Take notes based on the following websites: http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/beowulf/ http://www.engl.virginia.edu/OE/Beowulf.Readings/Prologu e.html http://www.wwnorton.com/nael/noa/audio.htm • Complete reading and notes, diagramming plot, characters, and tracking the heroic journey in Beowulf. You will lead Thursday’s class.
"Beowulf A Guide for Study"