BEOWULF Anglo-Saxon Period The Anglo-Saxon period is the earliest recorded time period in English history. The Anglo-Saxon period is the earliest recorded

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  • BEOWULF
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  • Anglo-Saxon Period The Anglo-Saxon period is the earliest recorded time period in English history. The Anglo-Saxon period is the earliest recorded time period in English history.
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  • Anglo-Saxon Literature Few people read in this period Few people read in this period Oral tradition was performed and/or sung by a Bard (Scop) from memory in Old English Oral tradition was performed and/or sung by a Bard (Scop) from memory in Old English This is why there are often This is why there are often several versions of the same story. Scops poet/minstrels Scops poet/minstrels Authors were unknown Authors were unknown
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  • THE STORY OF BEOWULF Beowulf marks the beginning of English literature Beowulf marks the beginning of English literature Beowulf is one of the earliest known pieces of literature in the English language; written in Old English Beowulf is one of the earliest known pieces of literature in the English language; written in Old English
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  • Contains specific Motifs Motifs a motif is a recurring theme or image in a work of literature Biblical and Christian Allusions Biblical and Christian Allusions Pagan Customs Pagan Customs Social Customs Social Customs Traits of the Warrior Traits of the Warrior Beowulf Boasts Beowulf Boasts
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  • The story of Beowulf wasnt written down until about 700 AD by The Beowulf Poet who is unknown. He wrote down the poem which for many years had been only sung or spoken. The story of Beowulf wasnt written down until about 700 AD by The Beowulf Poet who is unknown. He wrote down the poem which for many years had been only sung or spoken.
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  • Scholars believe The Beowulf Poet was most likely a Christian monk, thus adding a Christian perspective. Scholars believe The Beowulf Poet was most likely a Christian monk, thus adding a Christian perspective.
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  • There is only one original Beowulf manuscript existing today. It is in the British History Museum in London. There is only one original Beowulf manuscript existing today. It is in the British History Museum in London.
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  • BEOWULF is an EPIC poem. EPIC a long, narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger- than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society. EPIC a long, narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger- than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society.
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  • Examples of other EPICS are Greek Iliad and Greek Iliad and Odyssey Homer
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  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Tolkien
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  • And of course theres the EPIC HERO ! EPIC HERO must undertake a quest to achieve something of tremendous value to himself and his society EPIC HERO must undertake a quest to achieve something of tremendous value to himself and his society
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  • SUMMARY OF EPIC FEATURES: A long narrative poem A long narrative poem Larger than life hero; often with super- human characteristics Larger than life hero; often with super- human characteristics Concerns eternal human problems like the struggle between good and evil Concerns eternal human problems like the struggle between good and evil Presented in a serious manner using elevated (poetic) language Presented in a serious manner using elevated (poetic) language Hero represents widespread national, cultural, or religious values Hero represents widespread national, cultural, or religious values
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  • Anglo-Saxon Themes in Beowulf: Triumph or failure in war and battle Triumph or failure in war and battle Exploration and seafaring Exploration and seafaring Friendship and loyalty to men in battle Friendship and loyalty to men in battle Great value placed on beautiful artifacts and spoils of war Great value placed on beautiful artifacts and spoils of war Acceptance of wyrd fate (what will be will be predestined) Acceptance of wyrd fate (what will be will be predestined) Fatal doom concurrent with joyous celebration Fatal doom concurrent with joyous celebration Christian allusions juxtaposed (in direct contrast) with pagan customs Christian allusions juxtaposed (in direct contrast) with pagan customs
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  • Christianity vs. Pagan Beliefs Christianity focuses on a belief in God one god who created Heaven and Earth Christians believe in one evil being Satan Christians do not believe in wyrd and instead believe that God rewards and punishes. Pagans existed before Christianity and became more and more sparsely populated when Christian beliefs became a governments belief. Pagans believed in many gods, each of whom oversaw different aspects of the world (water, sun, earth, etc) Pagans believed that there were many evil monsters who fought to undo the gods and their human followers. Pagans also believed in wyrd.
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  • This epic poem is often divided into 3 sections; it is about Beowulfs 3 epic battles w/ evil.
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  • the Battle with Grendel (Grendel represents evil)
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  • the Battle with Grendels Mother (She also represents evil.)
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  • the Battle with the Dragon (It not only represents evil but also greed.)
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  • Beowulf himself represents good: loyalty loyalty valor valor selflessness selflessness sense of justice sense of justice
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  • Beowulf: Where does it take place? Geatland and Geatland and Denmark Denmark (Modern Denmark (Modern Denmark and Sweden) and Sweden)
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  • Note: None of the action takes place in England!!! None of the action takes place in England!!!
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  • The Scary, Horror Movie Where
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  • More specifically Beowulf takes place in a once upon a time world which taps into three archetypal sites of fear.
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  • 1. The barricaded night house/ Mead Hall (Herot)
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  • 2. The infested underwater lair (Grendels Mother)
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  • The Reptile-taunted rocks of a wilderness and cave (Fire Breathing Dragon)
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  • I like to think of them this way:
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  • Our bed on a stormy night when we are alone in the house (where we should feel safe.)
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  • A murky lake or a beach where Jaws takes place.
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  • The dark recesses of the earth: a cave, or even your own dark basement!
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  • WHY? Why do we read Beowulf? Its a very creative, imaginative, poetic masterpiece. Its a very creative, imaginative, poetic masterpiece. It gives us insight into the origins of the British people, the culture, who, through seafaring conquests, founded the world we currently live in. It gives us insight into the origins of the British people, the culture, who, through seafaring conquests, founded the world we currently live in. It gives us insight into the origins of our language. It gives us insight into the origins of our language.
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  • Why do we read it? It gives us insight into all people everywhere and throughout time (time, birth, death, fame/success/glory, honor, friendship, conflict, home, country, adventure, spirituality all of these things transcend English literature and matter to all people) Its challenging, and we love a good challenge!
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  • Why do we read it? Its scary and gets us to think about our own worst fears Its scary and gets us to think about our own worst fears Its a VERY important piece of literature historically (This is the because we have to reason!!) Its a VERY important piece of literature historically (This is the because we have to reason!!)
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  • Characteristic features of Anglo-Saxon Literature Alliteration Alliteration Kennings Kennings Caesura Caesura
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  • Alliteration The repetition of beginning consonant sounds in lines of poetry The repetition of beginning consonant sounds in lines of poetry Ex: She sells sea shells on the sea shore.
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  • Kenning Kenning a metaphorical phrase used to replace a concrete noun Kenning a metaphorical phrase used to replace a concrete noun Ex: teacher = knowledge giver Ex: sea = whales home Ex: battle = spear play It is like a poetic riddle or play on words.
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  • Caesura a natural pause in the middle of a line of poetry. a natural pause in the middle of a line of poetry. 2 part line each line is separated by a pause or break in the middle of the line; each part generally has 2 strong beats. 2 part line each line is separated by a pause or break in the middle of the line; each part generally has 2 strong beats. (Put simply, it is a dramatic pause in the middle of a line.)
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  • Caesura example: Then the Scylding warrior savage and grim, Then the Scylding warrior savage and grim, Seized the ring-hilt and swung the sword Seized the ring-hilt and swung the sword Struck with fury despairing of life Struck with fury despairing of life Thrust at the throat broke through the bone rings: Thrust at the throat broke t