Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beowulf (Epic) Quiz for Monday: Themes, Terms, Geography, Names...and what's so epic about Beowulf?

A Study Guide for Beowulf

Check out the updated homework reading schedule!

Listen to Heaney read the second half of Beowulf.


good/evil                     fear and monstrosity                honor       blood and gore   weapons and gifts

death and one's legacy              Christianity and paganism        maleness          femaleness

nature/supernatural              wealth and resources               tradition      revenge/forgiveness     

Literary Terms: (See previous blog for definitions)       Geography: 

Litotes (understatement)

Alliterative Meter

Names: Who's Who? See "Family Trees" in the back of the book:

Again, see previous blogs... especially...

The Epic Hero:  The star of an epic or heroic poem.  Beowulf and The Odyssey are epic poems, which can be defined as long narratives about the adventures of the epic hero.  Epics are generally told in heightened, dramatic language.

Characteristics of the Epic Hero:
·               Larger-than-life leader or warrior
·               Strongly identified with a particular people or society
·               Performs great deeds in battle or undertakes extraordinary journey
·               Sometimes possesses supernatural ability or has gods or other supernatural beings to help him or her
·               Sometimes of noble birth (aristocrat or royalty)
·               Possesses a sense of honor or code of ethics that rule his/her destiny
·               Shows loyalty to his people
·               Has various motivations (personal quest, revenge, helping people, glory)
·               Almost always wins battles, but one monster may be his or her downfall
·               May receive help from friends or guides, sometimes has a “sidekick”

Examples:  Odysseus, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, King Arthur, Batman, Luke Skywalker

Great history on the origins of the Beowulf-codex.

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