Anglo-SaxonandBeowulfBackground
Background Information• 30,000 lines of Anglo-Saxon poetry survive  today• 3, 182 (10%) of the lines are from Beowulf• Set...
Anglo-Saxon Culture•   Belief in fate (Wyrd)•   Accumulated treasures amount to success•   Fame and fortune zealously soug...
Anglo-Saxon Culture• Fierce, hardy life of warrior  and seamen• Strength, courage, leadership  abilities appreciated• Bois...
Anglo-Saxon Ideals          Codes of Conduct• Good defeats evil• Wergild--restitution for murder or expect  revenge from v...
Epic Poem• Long narrative poem that recounts the  adventures of a hero.• Elevated language• Does not sermonize• Invokes a ...
The Epic Hero• Actions consist of responses to catastrophic  situations in which the supernatural often  intervenes.• Code...
Elements of Anglo-Saxon Poetry• Chant-like effect of the four-beat line• Alliteration (“Then the grim man in green gathers...
Title of Epic Poem         • Anglo-Saxon word           Beo means “bright” or           “noble”         • Anglo-Saxon word...
How we date BeowulfSome Important Dates:   521 A.D. – death of Hygelac, who is              mentioned in the poem   680 A....
The Poetry in Beowulf1. Alliterative verse     a. Repetition of initial sounds of words          (occurs in every line)   ...
The Poetry in Beowulf2. Kennings  a. Compound metaphor (usually two words)  b. Most were probably used over and over      ...
More KenningsOther kennings from Beowulf:“bone-house” = body“gold-friend of men” = generous prince “ring-giver” = lord “fl...
Setting: Beowulf’s time and place   Europe today   Insert: Time of Beowulf
Some terms you’ll want to know            scop            A bard or story-teller.            The scop was responsible     ...
Terms: Thane and Mead-Hall          thane           A warrior         mead-hall           The large hall where the        ...
Term: Wyrd       wyrd        Fate. This idea crops up a        lot in the poem, while at        the same time there are   ...
Main Characters
Beowulf          • Epic hero          • Geat (from southern            Sweden)          • Nephew of Higlac            (Kin...
Hrothgar• Danish king• Builds Herot (banquet  hall) for men• Tormented by Grendel  for 12 years• Loses many men to  Grende...
Grendel      • Referred to as demon        and fiend      • Haunts the moors        (swampy land)      • Descendant of Cai...
Grendel’s Mother          • Referred to as she-            wolf          • Lives under a lake          • Challenges Hrothg...
Fire Dragon• Lives in Beowulf’s  kingdom• Wakes up when thief  steals cup• Guards countless  treasures
Works Cited• Intro to Beowulf
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Beowulf Anglo Saxon and Beowulf Background

10,315 views

Published on

1 Comment
14 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
10,315
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
300
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
506
Comments
1
Likes
14
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Beowulf Anglo Saxon and Beowulf Background

  1. 1. Anglo-SaxonandBeowulfBackground
  2. 2. Background Information• 30,000 lines of Anglo-Saxon poetry survive today• 3, 182 (10%) of the lines are from Beowulf• Setting - Denmark and Sweden• Author - Unknown, probably a monk• Composed in the 7th or 8th century• Oldest surviving English poem
  3. 3. Anglo-Saxon Culture• Belief in fate (Wyrd)• Accumulated treasures amount to success• Fame and fortune zealously sought after• Loyalty to one’s leader crucial• Importance of pagan, Germanic, and Christian ideals to people whose lives were often hard and uncertain
  4. 4. Anglo-Saxon Culture• Fierce, hardy life of warrior and seamen• Strength, courage, leadership abilities appreciated• Boisterous yet elaborately ritualized customs of the mead-hall• Expected the hero to boast
  5. 5. Anglo-Saxon Ideals Codes of Conduct• Good defeats evil• Wergild--restitution for murder or expect revenge from victim’s relatives• Boasts must be backed with actions.• Fate is in control• Fair fights are the only honorable fights
  6. 6. Epic Poem• Long narrative poem that recounts the adventures of a hero.• Elevated language• Does not sermonize• Invokes a muse• Begins in media res• Mysterious origin, super powers, vulnerability, rite of passage
  7. 7. The Epic Hero• Actions consist of responses to catastrophic situations in which the supernatural often intervenes.• Code of conduct forces him to challenge any threat to society• Destiny discovered through a series of episodes punctuated by violent incidents interspersed with idyllic descriptions.
  8. 8. Elements of Anglo-Saxon Poetry• Chant-like effect of the four-beat line• Alliteration (“Then the grim man in green gathers his strength”)• Caesura-pause or break in a line of poetry (“Oft to the wanderer weary of exile”)• Kenning-metaphorical phrase used instead of a name (“battle-blade” and “ring-giver”)• Epithet-description name to characterize something (“keen-edge sword”)• Hyperbole-exaggeration
  9. 9. Title of Epic Poem • Anglo-Saxon word Beo means “bright” or “noble” • Anglo-Saxon word wulf means “wolf” • Beowulf means bright or noble wolf • Other sources say Beo means “bear”
  10. 10. How we date BeowulfSome Important Dates: 521 A.D. – death of Hygelac, who is mentioned in the poem 680 A.D. – appearance of alliterative verse 835 A.D. – the Danish started raiding other areas; after this, few poets would consider them heroes SO: This version was likely composed between 680 and 835, though it may be set earlier
  11. 11. The Poetry in Beowulf1. Alliterative verse a. Repetition of initial sounds of words (occurs in every line) b. Generally, four feet/beats per line c. A caesura, or pause, between beats two and four d. No rhyme
  12. 12. The Poetry in Beowulf2. Kennings a. Compound metaphor (usually two words) b. Most were probably used over and over For instance: hronade literally means “whale- road,” but can be translated as “sea”
  13. 13. More KenningsOther kennings from Beowulf:“bone-house” = body“gold-friend of men” = generous prince “ring-giver” = lord “flashing light” = sword
  14. 14. Setting: Beowulf’s time and place Europe today Insert: Time of Beowulf
  15. 15. Some terms you’ll want to know scop A bard or story-teller. The scop was responsible for praising deeds of past heroes, for recording history, and for providing entertainment
  16. 16. Terms: Thane and Mead-Hall thane A warrior mead-hall The large hall where the lord and his warriors slept, ate, held ceremonies, etc.
  17. 17. Term: Wyrd wyrd Fate. This idea crops up a lot in the poem, while at the same time there are Christian references to God’s will.
  18. 18. Main Characters
  19. 19. Beowulf • Epic hero • Geat (from southern Sweden) • Nephew of Higlac (King at story’s start) • Sails to Denmark to help Hrothgar
  20. 20. Hrothgar• Danish king• Builds Herot (banquet hall) for men• Tormented by Grendel for 12 years• Loses many men to Grendel• Joyless before Beowulf’s arrival
  21. 21. Grendel • Referred to as demon and fiend • Haunts the moors (swampy land) • Descendant of Cain • Feasts on 30 men the night of 1st attack
  22. 22. Grendel’s Mother • Referred to as she- wolf • Lives under a lake • Challenges Hrothgar when she kills one of his best men
  23. 23. Fire Dragon• Lives in Beowulf’s kingdom• Wakes up when thief steals cup• Guards countless treasures
  24. 24. Works Cited• Intro to Beowulf

×