Beowulf

When did the Jutes cross the North Sea into Britain? 449 A.D, they settled in Kent.
Groups separated into and formed languages such as… sanskrit, greek, latin,(italian, french, spanish), germanic, (german, dutch, swedish, english).
Saint Augustine the most missionary, who became the archbishop of Canterbury.
Anglo-Saxon Poetry oral, sung with a harp.
Scop Village memory who would remember important heros, and battles then translate it into poems. Often they would add religion to the story.
What is the History of Beowulf? A story composed in the 8th century, written in old english, has a pagan view, newer versions seem to have more Christianity.
Another word for fate…. wyld
What is an epic? long narrative poem, based on a hero, culture, supernatural, weapons, and clues o fear.
Syncretism the attempt to reconcile 2 different religions/cultures. (Pagan vs. Christian)
Alliteration repetition of syllable/sound. Ex. Greedy and grim he grabbed 30 men.
Kenning a two-word metaphor. Ex. Whale-road (ocean).
Comitatus code of loyalty, Thanes swore loyalty in return the King would protect them and be generous.
Cesura a pause in a line of poetry.
Wergild “man-payment” to pay atonement in order to avoid revenge.
Beowulf Geat, who went to save Hrothgar’s Kingdom from Grendel. Fights Grendel, his mother, and a fire breathing dragon.
Hrothgar King of the Danes, built Herot, and was a strong leader until Grendel attacked his land for 12 winters.
Grendel Descendant of Cain, attacks Herot because he is jealous, is killed by Beowulf who rips off his arm.
Grendel’s Mother A monster who wants revenge, lives in a mere. Her mere is a swamp like place that symbolizes hell.
Fire-Breathing Dragon wants revenge when a slave steels a golden cup from his treasure. Killed by Beowulf but not before he bites his neck leaving a fatal wound.
Shield A king who ruled be for Hrothgar, he was a great king, Hrothgar descended from him.
Beow Son of Shield, father of Halfdane, also ruled the danes, he was an admired leader.
Halfdane Father of Hrothgar, succeeded Beow as a ruler of the danes.
Wealhtheow Hrothgar’s wife, shows the role of a woman in this era. Restores peace
Aeschere Hrothgar’s trusted advisor, and friend. Killed by Grendel’s mother.
Hygelac Beowulf’s uncle, and king of the Geats.
Wiglaf Helps Beowulf fight the dragon. He is a loyal friend.
Ecgtheow Beowulf’s father, and friend of Hrothgar.
Breca Beowulf’s childhood friend, who beat him in an ocean battle.
King Heremod A gifted king who was generous, but then he killed danes in his own hall, sinning against comitatus, and was guilty of hubris.
Herot Mead hall built by Hrothgar, meaning=heart. Symbolizes loyalty, and independence.
Unferth name means unpeace, he is jealous of Beowulf, later he puts aside his jealousy and offers him Hrunting, a sword which never fails. He is guilty of killing his kin.
Dichotomies(polarity) light v. Dark, Beowulf v. Grendel, Heaven v. Hell, Christian v. pagan, peace v. war.
Methods of Characterization Description, action, worlds, and other characters.
4 parts of a boast… intro, accomplishments, speaker’s statement, and how it will be performed.
What is the meaning of Baleful light? baleful means dark.. dark light. It is an oxymoron.
Beowulf Vs. Grendel Beowulf will use no weapons, his strategy is a sneak attack, it is a hand to hand combat, Beowulf fights Grendel, he rips his arm, which becomes a trophy for the Danes.
Beowulf Vs. Grendel’s Mother Beowulf is offered gold from Hrothgar to kill the Mother who killed his friend Aschere. He goes to the mere, where the water burn and it is filled with sea creatures. Beowulf wears more armor, which saves his life, Hrunting the magic sword does not work, he uses his own strength, he visions a sword, he kills the mother and gets grendel’s head, which four men carry back to Herot. God’s fate was for Beowulf to win(Christianity).
Hrunting Magic sword given to Beowulf from Unferth, it never failed until the battle with Grendel’s mother.
Allegory didactic poem whose characters are symbolic because they represent abstract qualities.
What is the symbolism of water? Usually it means rebirth, but in Beowulf water is associated with hell. (the mere)
Why does Beowulf not tell Unferth that Hrunting failed? He is a considerate man.
How many years pass after Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother. 50 years later, Hygelac has died, and Beowulf is king of the Geats.
What does the Dragon want revenge? A slave, in order to plea mercy to his lord stole a cup from the dragon’s treasure which he had been guarding for 300 years.
What is the name of the sword Beowulf uses to fight the dragon and how did he get it? Naegling, he gained it in a battle with the Swedes.
How does Beowulf die? While battling the dragon, naegling snaps, all 11 men abandon him except wiglaf, whose wooden sword has burned. the dragon bites beowulf in the neck with his poison fang, Wiglaf stabs the dragon in the stomach, then Beowulf kills him. Beowulf’s wound it fatal.
What does Beowulf ask to see as he is dying, what does he request as his last words? The treasure that the dragon had been guarding. Then he asks wiglaf to build him a barrow, with a light that will help guide sailors.
What does wiglaf say to the men who sinned against comitatus in the battle with the dragon? He says they must leave the land, and because they broke comitatus there would be war.
Why is the woman crying at Beowulf’s funeral? She sees the future that there will we war, and that the Geat land will be weak without Beowulf and they will receive payback for what they had inflicted on other lands.
What are similarities of Shield and Beowulf? They are kings, and heros. They are buried with treasure, they both grew up with a lack of family.
What are similarities of Hrothgar and Beowulf? Kings who ruled in peace until they were attacked. One kingdom is demoralized, the other destroyed.

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