Intro to Beowulf

Intro to Beowulf - builds the hall Heorot as a tribute to...

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Beowulf Anonymous Introduction Old English alliterative verse poem, poet unknown Similar to epic though smaller in scope than classical epics Composed circa 700 AD in England; story takes place hundreds of years before Original poem was an oral composition to be delivered by a trained bard Set around 500 AD in Denmark and Sweden Germanic Heroic Code Strength, courage and loyalty in warriors Hospitality, generosity and political skill in kings Good reputation important for all people Literary elements kenning: a short metaphorical description of a thing used in place of  the thing’s name; thus a ship might be called a “sea-rider,” or a king  a “ring-giver.” p 3 litotes p 11 pithy moral instruction p 3 Major characters Hrothgar:  He is the King of the Danes at the time of Grendel's assaults. He 
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Unformatted text preview: builds the hall Heorot as a tribute to his people and his reign. Grendel: This man-monster is a descendant of Cain. He attacks Heorot after hearing the sounds of revelry there. Beowulf eventually kills him, with his severed arm hung as a trophy in Heorot. His mother attempts to avenge his death. Beowulf: He is a thane of the Geat king Hygelac and eventually becomes King of the Geats. The poem relates his heroic exploits over 50 years, including the fights with Grendel and his mother and with the treasure-guarding dragon. Unferth: A thane of Hrothgar's, he taunts Beowulf in the hall about his swimming contest with Breca. However, Beowulf shames him in the boasting match. His name means "discord."...
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This note was uploaded on 08/21/2008 for the course ENG 130 taught by Professor Darby during the Fall '08 term at N. Arizona.

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