Name the characteristics of an epic hero
1. hero of noble birth/ high position in society
2. legendary importance
3. character traits= reflect important ideals of society
4. deeds reflect values of era
5. performs actions that often determine fate of nation
epics were orally passed down for a long time until someone finally wrote it down
conventions of an epic
reflect larger than life events
dialogue- formal speeches
theme- timeless values/ universal ideas
style- formal (diction/word choice is serious in tone)
define alliteration and give an example from Beowulf
repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words, which helps unify the lines
example:: “in secret sessions…”
Define kenning and give an example from Beowuld
poetic synonyms found in Germanic poems, descriptive phrase or compound word that substitutes for a noun
example: the Lord Almighty
Herot is a mead hall built by Hrothgar, King of the Danes. His subjects conjugate there // like a bar. This is the place Grendel invaded.
describe Grendel’s lair. How does it compare to Herot?
slimy, marsh, like hell,
What is the significance of Grendel being descended from Cain?
Cain was the first murderer, who killed his brother Abel. Grendel is a murderer
Why does Grendel attack Herot?
What are Beowulf’s thoughts as he waits for Grendel’s arrival?
He is eager for him to come. He had high hopes that he will destroy him with no weapons and become a hero.
Why does Beowulf wait, allowing Grendel to kill one of the Geats, before he attacks Grendel?
He wanted Grendel to think he was sleeping so he could catch him off guard. If he was waiting for him awake Grendel would be prepared to fight him.
Describe the battle between Beowulf and Grendel
Grendel goes for Beowulf when he thought he was sleeping but Beowulf catches him off guard and seizes him. Grendel was shocked and only wanted to escape. They battled throughout the mead hall. Grendel gradually began to lose strength and the battle ended when his arm came off, claw and off. He escaped back home, but it was implied he would die.
How does Beowulf wound Grendel
he rips his whole arm off
What does Beowulf hang from the rafters of Herot?
Describe Grendel’s death
He went back to his home swamp to die. The water was nasty and murky and bloody
Describe Beowulf’s attitude at this point in the story
He is fearless and cocky and thinks he can do anything.
Why does Grendel’s mother attack Herot? What does she take with her?
She attacks for revenge. She took back her son’s arm
Describe the lake
the lake is murky and dark. They live deep down, past cliffs and it burns like a torch. No one ever goes as far as they live
describe the battle between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother
she takes him to a battle hall. he tries to strike her with a sword bu no sword can hurt her. he get a surge of energy and seized her but she fired right back. she stabbed him but his mail shirt saved him.
How does Beowulf defeat her?
he takes a dagger from the wall and strikes her neck which is what finally kills her
What does Beowulf do before he swims back to land? What do Hrothgar and the other warriors think has happened?
he finds dead Grendel and chops his head off for final revenge. They thought that Beowulf had died and lost the battle
To what does Beowulf attribute his victory? Why?
God because he had made it alive
What 2 things does Beowulf present to Hrothgar?
What is Beowulf’s attitude at this point in the story?
he seeks to be saluted. he is very cocky
Describe how Beowulf becomes king of the Geats
his uncle died
Describe what happened to those who held the dragon’s treasure
How does the dragon react when it notices its cup has been stolen?
he freaks out and terrorizes the Geats
Why does Beowulf want to fight the dragon alone?
He doesn’t think anyone else can do what he means to do
When does Beowulf realize he’s losing the battle with the dragon? What does he do?
When the dragon’s fire melts his shield he realizes fate is against him for the first time. He continues anyway.
What do Beowulf’s followers do when they realize he’s losing? What does Wiglaf do?
They leave and run but Wiglaf stays to help.
How is the dragon killed?
He is killed when Wiglaf strikes him
How is Beowulf killed?
he is wounded in the neck which was mortal
What does Wiglaf say to the rest of Beowulf’s followers?
He says they should be ashamed because they fled when Beowulf needed them. He called them out for leaving after they promised they would help him fight. He makes them leave.
History of Anglo Saxon Era
VIkings attack england
Lit of the Era
epic poems, Beowulf
1. Cesar attempted to conquer English Isles–this was the first of many
orally passing on stories
the war between Harold and William Duke of Norway. William made a deal with Edward the Confessor to take the thrown but Harold was wanted. William led the last successful invasion into England. Battle of Hastings ended it and Harold died.
ended Anglo Saxon dominance
Spread of Christianity
cultural influence of the Anglo- Saxon era
king of the Geats, also Beowulf’s uncle
one of Hrothgar’s soldiers who tells Hrothgar of the Geat’s arrival
former king of the Geats- Higlac’s father and Beowulf’s grandfather
famous blacksmith and magician
member of another Germanic tribe
who beowulf’s father killed
Hrothgar’s older brother
caesar attemped to conquer the British Isles
Angles and Saxons
fought against Britons
Alfred the Great
Anglo-Saxon King , unified english, culture flourished
Edward the Confessor took the throne.
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor swore his cousin William Duke of Normandy his heir
who the council of nobles and church officials wanted to lead them
Battle of Hastings at which Harold was killed , William the Conqueror crowned king of England on Christmas
fate, like in battle
Alfred the Great becomes king