Beowulf – Key Issues
It is unknown who wrote it
Who is the author of Beowulf?
Around A.D. 700
When was it written?
Swedan and the Danish island of Zealand
Where does the story take place?
When did Germanic people begin to invade britain?
Anglo-Saxon and their Germanic ancestors
What culture does Beowulf represent?
“man-payment in gold” – according to this code, and Anglo-saxon who killed someone had to pay a price for his deed or accept the fact that the victim’s relatives would seek revenge
Anglo-Saxon’s name for fate which controlled human destiny; one’s ultimate and inescapable fate was death
a long narrative work that recounts in stately language the achievements of a larger-than-life hero who usually embodies his civilization’s ideals; a quest story on a grand scale
traveling minstrels who composed to generation; they served as keepers of the tribal history, and their earliest poems recount great battles and the feats of important heroes; their ability to recite poetic stories was considered as important a skill as fighting
writers of handwritten manuscripts who began to record the scops’ oral compositors; they were probably Christian monks, and they preserved the literature of the ancient world
The epic hero is the central figure in a long narrative work that reflects the values and heroic ideals of a particular society.
Superior physical strength, ethical, is a braggart, must defeat monsters that embody dark powers, he will be glorified
List the Epic Hero’s Characterisitics
Grendal, Grendal’s mother, and the fire breathing dragon
Three forces of evil
the society was male dominated; families were organized around a male leader
Men in Anglo-saxon society
war faring; warrior always willing to die for king
What Anglo-Saxon society center around?
poetry was just as important as fighting, hunting, farming, or loving in the Anglo-saxon society. Thus, the scops/bards were respected greatly.
Was poetry respected.
the philosophy of revenge
What was a way of life for the Anglo-Saxons?
was materialism important to a Anglo-Saxon warrior?
Fame is equal to immortality
How can an anglo-saxon live forever?
what does Beowulf mean?
the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close to one another.
A pause or break within a line of poetry, usually indicated by the natural rhythm of the language; common in anglo-saxon poetry
in Anglo-Saxon poetry, a metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly. There are four types
Open compound, Preposition phrase, hyphenated compound, possessive
Name the four types of Kennings
how many men can Grendel kill at a time?
Cries of grief and sorrow
He can not stand Happiness
Why does Grendel kill?
How long did Herot Hall stay empty?
Who is Hrothgar’s father
Beowulf’s uncle and fuedal lord
How many followers did beowulf choose?
One of Hrothgar’s warriors sent to greet Beowulf upon his arrival
Who is the Antagonist?
Who is Beowulf’s childhood friend who he had a swimming match with?
How long did the swimming contest last?
who is Beowulf’s father?
WHo does Edgetho kill?
relationship between king and his followers
taking something grotesque and making it seem beautiful
Grendel’s mother, and wilthow
who are the two women in the poem?
She is a gracious, honorable, elegant, well mannered, subservient. Described as a gold-wearing and bracelet-wearing queen.
represents all women in that women never challenged the men they knew their place
How does wilthow represent all anglo women?
Compares the night to a fisherman casting his net over the earth
How does the night exhibit personification.
Beowulf wants to see how he is capable of doing what his is strategy. How fast is he? etc. SO that he can formulate his plan for battle
Why does Beowulf let Grendel devour one geat?
Ivory, Gold, wood, iron
What is herot hall made of?
What could destroy herot hall?
No he dies in his home at the bottom of the lake
Does Grendel die in Herot hall?
Tendons or connective tissue
The anglo-saxon era
Is beowulf a geat or dane?
Unferth’s sword given to Beowulf to fight Grendel’s mother
What is Hrunting?
He is lying prostrate like a cross
How is Beowulf lying when grendel’s mother is trying to kill him?
case that holds the sword
what is a scabbard?
cross shaped handle
She is decapitated
How is Grendel’s mother killed?
Beowulf’s heart was still angry at the terrible things that grendel had done. He decapitates grendel after he is dead.
why does beowulf kill grendel again?
How long after Grendel’s mother dies does the story pick up?
How old is Beowulf at the end of the epic
the devil or evilness or death
What does the dragon symbolize?
What does the treasure symbolize (hoard)?
Coiled and uncoiled, pouring out fire and smoke, scaly hide, spouting murderous flames
How do you describe the dragon?
Who stayed and helped Beowulf fight the dragon?
Wiglaf stabs it and Beowulf puts a dagger in its heart
How is the dragon killed?
He is fatally wounded the dragon drove its fangs into his neck
What happens to Beowulf after the fight with the dragon?
yes Beowulf left the kingdom to wiglaf for being loyal
Does it pay to be loyal?
wood heaped for burning a dead body as a funeral rite
At the end of the story how many followers does beowulf have?
he is viewed as a hero nothing has changed he recieves glorification for his life he is famous now.
How did the Geats regard their dead king?
who translated the story in our lit book?
it is rpotected by God
Why can’t Grendel touch Hrothgar’s throne?
the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls
If the British Museum of London; it is partially burned
Where is the only manuscript of Beowulf left?