long narrative poem reveals values & history fact,

 long narrative poem  reveals values & history  fact,

long narrative poem reveals values & history fact, folklore & magic serious tone & grand language hero undertakes a great quest which relates to societys values

Beowulfs Genre = Epic

Epic long narrative poem Epics were the first history books! Your goal is to separate fact from fiction as you read Beowulf. Therefore, you need to know the facts (Anglo-Saxon History) Must battle a great monster

Must pay homage to a god/gods (Fate/ Wyrd) Has Superhuman strength / skill / wit Of Noble birth or rises to nobilty (sometimes a mystery) Although superhuman, he is mortal Usually has a great weapon

EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic? Scop Anglo-Saxon Poet - Memorized epic poems and delivered them at the Mead Hall - Preserved the souls of past warriors Our language and literature

today is greatly inspired by the warring tribes of Early England Beowulf is considered the first work in English (400 - 700 A.D. ) It is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem

Epics contain a given groups culture and history Actually this term is used to describe a culture composed of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Geats They were Germanic tribes guns for hire mercenaries

Hired by the Romans They stay in Britain after the Romans leave. Tribal Life small clans; armies (loyalty and strength most important) Violent society, but loyalty is important.

Killing a fellow member of ones tribe was the worst possible crime Those who committed this crime paid a wergild. Religion: Anglo-Saxons = pagan beliefs

Woden (Odin) primary god Thunor (Thor) friend to man; controlled sky; thunder (royals god) Tiw north star; war god Freya (Frigg) goddess of love; feast; beauty Loki god of cunning (shape-shifter) Religion: Impact in Modern English

Sunday -- Sun's day Monday -- Moon's day Tuesday -- Tiw's day Wednesday -- Woden's day Thursday -- Thor's day Friday -- Freya's day Saturday -- Saturn's day (adopted Roman god)

Druids Pagan priests/shamans (Anglos mix with Britons Druids) Feasts, ceremonies, magic, animism Druids painted their bodies blue before battle Human / animal sacrifice and effigy Extremely spiritual and violent Limited concept of an afterlife

need fame to live on = momento mori Reputation = eternal life EQ: What role does history & culture play in an epic? Memento Mori remember death no afterlife; therefore, achieve immortality by accomplishments

(preserve soul) through reputation Adoration to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; to honor and idolize The goal of Anglo Saxon society was to attain adoration and fame in order to obtain immortality

Methods = poem, statue, jewelry, memorial, Wyrd - Fate or personal destiny "to become or to be due similar to karma an Anglo-Saxons reputation The T

ree of Lif e (soul s) Mead Hall - center of civilization (symbol) Socializing

History preserved (scop oral poet) Reputations built (brag; give gifts) Sign of tribes strength; safe place (sleep) Comitatus - Germanic code of loyalty Thanes (warriors) swore loyalty King generous in return (give treasure / land) Kings praised for generosity and hospitality.

Warriors praised for courage and loyalty Warfare: Dominated life Comitatus: Remain on battlefield (after Kings defeat) Thane pledged life to the king (bravery) King rewarded thanes with treasure

(generosity) Loyalty; oath = basis for social order Riddles beauty in mystery = quickness of mind = intellectual strength Boast confidence was very important must be able to back up claims

Christianity vs. Pagan Christian allusions in the poem result from transcription by a Christian monk Anglos originally pagan; changed to Christianity after 600 A.D Notable Names: Bede:

Founds monastic group (strict) Writes Ecclesiastical History Rumored as a miracle worker Escapes assassination attempt (twice!)

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