A Study Guide for Beowulf:
Check out the updated homework reading schedule!
Listen to Heaney read the second half of Beowulf.
Literary Terms: (See previous blog for definitions) Geography:
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