Beowulf The Coming of Beowulf

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					• EQ: What are the essential ideas in the text?
• EQ: What elements of Anglo-Saxon Culture are
      evident in the text?
• EQ: What characteristics of an epic and epic hero
      are evident in the text?
• Epic – a long narrative poem; tells the great deeds of
  a hero who embodies the values of his/her society
• Epic Hero - represents the values of his culture; larger-
  than-life; super-human capabilities
• Pagan and Christian Values – Beowulf contains both.
  It is about Pagan warriors; however, it was written
  down by Christian monks. As you read look for
  references to each religion.
• Memento Mori –
  ‘remember death’
   – no afterlife; therefore,
     achieve immortality
   – by accomplishments
   – (preserve soul)
     through reputation.
• Adoration – to regard with the utmost esteem,
  love, and respect; to honor and worship – idolize
   – The goal of Anglo Saxon society was to
     attain adoration and fame in order to obtain
     immortality
• Mail – shirt : armor made of 20,000 small iron
  rings; mesh effect
• Wyrd : fate / destiny; Anglo Saxons must fulfill
  to achieve immortality (momento mori)
• Beowulf – epic hero; seeking wyrd
• Helfdan‟s son: Hrothgar (kenning)
• Higlac‟s follower: Higlac is Beowulf‟s uncle and
                     feudal lord. He hopes to bring
                     him honor. (kenning)
• Hrothgar – King of the Danes;
             builds Herot

• Wulfgar - Hrothgar‟s thane;
            greets Beowulf

• Beowulf – revered warrior;
            seeking wyrd
• Danes – Hrothgar‟s people (Denmark)
• Geats – Beowulf‟s tribe (South of Sweden)
• Art of the Brag – mental dominance;
                    reputation must be revered
                    to have afterlife
• Comitatus – warrior must die for their king
• Riddles – beauty in mystery = complexity of
            words = intellectual dominance
• Boast – confidence important; sign of
          dominance; must back up claims
• Flyting – argument in verse
• Brother – slayer – worst Anglo-Saxon crime
• Odin – God of death and war
• Valhalla – Odin’s home; eternal feast
             (‘heaven-like’)
• Bonstan’s son: Brecca – challenged Beowulf
• Unferth – Hrothgar’s ‘top’ warrior
• Beowulf – challenged by Unferth (flyting)
Assignment:
• Read “The Arrival of the Hero” (24 – 27) and answer
  Reading Guide Questions #‟s1-5
• Read “Unferth‟s Challenge” and answer questions #‟s
  1-8 (due at the end of the period)
Open your book to Pg. 25; Line 134
Beowulf arrives in Denmark and is directed to Herot, the
  mead-hall of King Hrothgar. The king sends one of his
  thanes to greet the visitors.
Note: Beowulf has already begun to be glorified due to
  the difficult journey he completed to arrive at Hrothgar‟s
  kingdom.
1. Beowulf says he has come to kill Grendel. What
  proof does he offer that he is up to the task?
   • killed many enemies; chained five giants and
     chased their race from the earth; hunted
     monsters out of the ocean
2. Why do you think Beowulf intends to fight
  Grendel without a sword?
   • avoid unfair advantage; „fair‟ fight; better story;
     bigger bragging rights
3. What information does Hrothgar reveal in a
  speech he makes to Beowulf (lines 191 – 209)?
• Once helped Beowulf‟s father; restored peace
• Reinforces Hrothgar‟s reputation
3. What cultural elements are revealed through the
  poet‟s concluding statements in lines 225 - 232?
   • Practices of the mead-hall and honoring those
     that are brave (order of seats, feasting, songs
     sung, etc…)
4. What elements of imagery are used to
  characterize Beowulf?
  • “…his mail shirt gleaming…” (139 – 140)
  • “…dripping with my enemies‟ blood” (153)
• Art of the Brag – mental dominance;
                    reputation must be revered
                    to have afterlife
• Comitatus – warrior must die for their king
• Riddles – beauty in mystery = complexity of
            words = intellectual dominance
• Boast – confidence important; sign of
          dominance; must back up claims
• Flyting – argument in verse
• Brother – slayer – worst Anglo-Saxon crime
• Odin – God of death and war
• Valhalla – Odin’s home; eternal feast
             (‘heaven-like’)
• Bonstan’s son: Brecca – challenged Beowulf
• Unferth – Hrothgar’s ‘top’ warrior
• Beowulf – challenged by Unferth (flyting)
• 8th century England brutal Viking attacks
• Old Norse warrior so wild, fierce, and fearless his own
  comrades feared him
• Warrior was called berserk
•   Berserk means „bare shirt‟.
•   Often refused to wear armor, hence the nickname.
•   Entered battle in a fit; biting shields
•   Religious zealots of Odin
•   As you read, see if Beowulf adheres to such details!
• As you read, see if Beowulf adheres to such details!
• Read “Unferth‟s Challenge”
• Answer questions #‟s 1-8 (due at the end of the period)
1. Review Reading Guide Questions
2. Present Shields (nominate a leader)
3. Creature of Nightmare Group Presentations
4. Complete Reading Guide in Clans
1. Beowulf says he has come to kill Grendel. What
  proof does he offer that he is up to the task?
   • killed many enemies; chained five giants and
     chased their race from the earth; hunted
     monsters out of the ocean
2. Why do you think Beowulf intends to fight
  Grendel without a sword?
   • avoid unfair advantage; „fair‟ fight; better story;
     bigger bragging rights
3. What information does Hrothgar reveal in a
  speech he makes to Beowulf (lines 191 – 209)?
• Once helped Beowulf‟s father; restored peace
• Reinforces Hrothgar‟s reputation
4. What cultural elements are revealed through the
  poet‟s concluding statements in lines 225 - 232?
   • Practices of the mead-hall and honoring those
     that are brave (order of seats, feasting, songs
     sung, etc…)
5. What elements of imagery are used to
  characterize Beowulf?
  • “…his mail shirt gleaming…” (139 – 140)
  • “…dripping with my enemies‟ blood” (153)
1. What angers Unferth?
• “…any had acquired fame greater than his own.”
2. What characteristics of an Epic Hero are
  portrayed by Beowulf‟s treatment of Unferth?
• demonstrates assertiveness; restraint; courtesy
3. Why does Unferth state,
  “…but your luck may
  change…” (258 – 259)?
• scare Beowulf; wants
  him to lose
• create suspense; raises
  doubt
4. Unferth vs. Beowulf (Flyting)
     Unferth’s Account         Beowulf’s Account

• Foolish challenge        • Youthful challenge
• Brecca won               • Chose to stay with
  (first to reach shore)     Brecca (protect)
• Brecca honored for win   • Survived harsh conditions
                           • Killed many sea monsters
                           • Difficulty proves he’s
                             stronger
5. How does Beowulf further insult Unferth?
• „brother-slayer‟

6. Who do you feel wins the flyting?
• “You murdered your brothers…” (321)
• “…if your hands were as hard as your heart as
  fierce as you think it no fool would dare to raid
  your hall…” (325 – 326)
7. Who is Welthow? What historical element about
  women does she convey?
• queen; serves mead
• Women were generous, beloved and gracious

8. What does Hrothgar promise?
• “…your ship will sail home with its treasure-holds
  full” (391)
Assignment:
In your clan, complete your reading guide
1. Figurative Analysis
2. Interpreting an Analogy
3. Reader Response (perfect paragraph)
4. Epic Language
Directions: Write original thorough responses for both
             prompts. In the space provided.
1. Justify, using at least 2-3 examples from background
   knowledge of Anglo-Saxon culture and textual
   knowledge of Beowulf, whether or not Beowulf is
   berserk.
2. What modern heroes or athletes can you think of who
   portray this berserk attitude? What role does
   intimidation play in modern sports or warfare?
• Remember, an epic is a long narrative written in „grand‟
  or elevated language. View the passages below and
  rewrite the sentences for „epic effect‟.
• Directions: Use a thesaurus or dictionary to aid in
  your application of elevated writing style. Hint:
  vary adjectives and verbs to create a sense of
  drama and importance.
1. The frozen sea rose up around me.

2. A monster grabbed me.

3. Grendel lived deep in a dark cave.

4. He had never seen a more disagreeable beast.

				
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posted:10/4/2011
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