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Context, Background, & Literary Elements
Anglo-Saxon Society
 highly organized tribal units (kingdoms)
 Each tribe ruled by a king chosen by a council of elders....
Anglo-Saxon Beliefs
 Pagan, polytheistic
 Very pessimistic view of life (due to the ever-
present dangers of death by ac...
Anglo-Saxon Literature
 Began as an oral tradition.
 Stories, poems, and songs were all told aloud and passed from
gener...
The Epic
• Beowulf is the most
well-known Anglo-Saxon
poem
• An epic
 Long narrative that celebrates a
hero’s long journe...
Universal Themes of Epic Poetry
 Good vs. evil
 Isolation
 Courage and honor
 Gods or semi-divine creatures
 Fate of ...
About Beowulf
 Most famous of early Germanic
poems
 Written anywhere between
400-1000
 Author is unknown
 Takes place ...
Religion in Beowulf
Paganism Christianity
 Strong nature presence
 Strength of the warrior
 God is mentioned
 Good vs....
Literary Devices
 Archetype - a reoccurring symbol or motif throughout literature that represents
universal patterns of h...
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Beowulf Background and Literary Elements PPT

Beowulf background and literary elements ppt

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Beowulf Background and Literary Elements PPT

  1. 1. Context, Background, & Literary Elements
  2. 2. Anglo-Saxon Society  highly organized tribal units (kingdoms)  Each tribe ruled by a king chosen by a council of elders.  Thanes - the upper class, earls, or free warriors  Thralls - slaves who did the farming and domestic work  Freemen - small group who earned possessions by doing specialized work, such as craftsmen  Spoke Old English  Language in which Beowulf was written  Became Christian but still valued heroic ideals and traditional heroes.  Culture valued human contact, family, virtue, and a good story.  Feared humiliation and loneliness in their lives  Desired wealth and power  Appreciated heroic actions of warriors  Women inherited, held, and retained control of property
  3. 3. Anglo-Saxon Beliefs  Pagan, polytheistic  Very pessimistic view of life (due to the ever- present dangers of death by accident or warfare)  Human life in the hands of fate (wyrd)  Did not believe in an afterlife  Immortality only earned through heroic actions  Sharp contrast to the Christian belief in an individual’s free will
  4. 4. Anglo-Saxon Literature  Began as an oral tradition.  Stories, poems, and songs were all told aloud and passed from generation to generation orally through scops.  Poems traditionally had a strong beat, alliteration, and no rhyme
  5. 5. The Epic • Beowulf is the most well-known Anglo-Saxon poem • An epic  Long narrative that celebrates a hero’s long journeys and heroic deeds.  Includes a noble hero whose character traits reflect their society’s ideals  Hero performs brave acts and appears superhuman  Hero travels through The Hero’s Journey
  6. 6. Universal Themes of Epic Poetry  Good vs. evil  Isolation  Courage and honor  Gods or semi-divine creatures  Fate of an entire race
  7. 7. About Beowulf  Most famous of early Germanic poems  Written anywhere between 400-1000  Author is unknown  Takes place in Sweden and Denmark
  8. 8. Religion in Beowulf Paganism Christianity  Strong nature presence  Strength of the warrior  God is mentioned  Good vs. Evil  Lucifer/the Devil
  9. 9. Literary Devices  Archetype - a reoccurring symbol or motif throughout literature that represents universal patterns of human nature; may occur as a character, symbol, or situation.  Kenning - two-word phrase that describes an object through metaphors  Whale-road = sea  oar-steed = ship  Alliteration - the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words (tongue twisters)  Consonance - the repetition of consonant sounds anywhere within a line of poetry. Alliteration is a specific type of consonance.  Assonance - repetition of vowel sounds within a line of poetry  Caesura – a pause in a line of poetry that is formed by the rhythms of natural speech rather than by metrics  “I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too?”

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Beowulf background and literary elements ppt

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