Hergar, Hrothgar, Halga, and Yrs.
Beowulf Study Guide [page numbers refer to NA 9th ed. Beowulf and Old English Literature Read carefully the general background information NApaying particular attention to the discussion of oral poetry, literacy, and the connection between Christianity and writing; note also the comments on heroic values NA 8.
Make sure you understand what is meant by alliterative verse and can identify parts of the Old English alliterative lines in Caedmon's hymn NA and in the Poet's Song in Heorot selection from Beowulf NA What is meant by the Old English or Anglo-Saxon period?
Know dates or approximations given by editor for: Know what is meant by the following terms: Don't try to memorize all the names or the complex genealogies in Beowulf -- read instead for a sense of the issues important in epic poetry of the Anglo-Saxon period.
You should however know names of -- and be able to identify -- the following characters: As you read the text, keep in mind what you have learned about the Old English world view, esp.
Note that the date of composition of Beowulf is unclear.
It is generally thought to have been composed between the 8th and 10th centuries see NA The single manuscript in which the poem was preserved has been dated to the late 10th century, and the historic period in which the events recounted supposedly took place can be identified as the early sixth century, when Hygelac is known to have been King of the Geats see NA What can you conclude from the discrepancy between these dates?
Seamus Heaney has incorporated some of the music of alliterative verse into his translation; be sensitive to this aspect of the poem. Reread NA 24 on Old English prosody and be sure that you understand the meaning of the following terms: How many stressed syllables are found in an Old English alliterative line?
How many unstressed syllables? Which words alliterate with each other? Beowulf Beowulf is representative of the sort of epic poetry enjoyed by the inhabitants of Britain before, during and after their gradual Christianization -- the very type of poem which Bede claims Caedmon was unable to sing when the harp was passed around in the Mead Hall after dinner what he disparagingly refers to as "vain and idle songs," NA What are the qualities of the epic hero?
How is the heroic ideal represented in Beowulf, and how does it reinforce or conflict with other aspects of the society? Beowulf has been called a Pagan story composed or at least written down by a Christian poet.
To what extent are God and Fate the same thing in the poem?
To what extent are they in conflict? What about the representation of evil? What is the significance of Grendel belonging to the "race of Cain"? Is there a difference between the evil of Grendel and that of his Mother? How about the dragon at the end?
Is Beowulf a savior figure? What motivates his heroism?Beowulf Study Guide.
PROLOUGE TO PART Grendel’s first attack, Beowulf’s arrival. 1. Describe Herot. 2. Describe Grendel’s lair. How does it compare to Herot? From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Beowulf Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
If you’ve seen a single Hollywood blockbuster, you’re already clued in to a lot of the action in Beowulf. There are monsters of epic proportions.
There are monsters of epic proportions. There’s a son who owes a debt to his father. Beowulf Study Guide 15 CRITIC’S CORNER The account of the hero’s funeral with which the poem ends [is] at once immemorial and oddly contemporary. The Geat woman who cries out in dread as the flames consume the body of her dead lord could come.
Beowulf might seem a little intimidating at first. You know, it was written at least a thousand years ago and in verse! But take heart. At its core, Beowulf is actually a . This teaching guide is organized in three sections presenting suggestions to be used before Beowulf is read, while it is being read, and after the reading is completed.
Following these sections are a Bibliography and a .