Beowulf Notes ENGL 301
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Megan Snyder on Monday September 14, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 301 at Old Dominion University taught by Dr. Edward Jacobs in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 79 views. For similar materials see Intro to British Literature I in Foreign Language at Old Dominion University.
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Date Created: 09/14/15
British Literature Beowulf Notes 82715 Quiz Q Why does Beowulf help the Danes A Hrothgar was a friend of Beowulf s father Hrothgar pays blood money to settle a Geatian feud started by Beowulf s father Q How does Beowulf kill Grendel A Beowulf rips off Grendel s arm Without the use of weapons a fair fight Q Why does the dragon begin attacking Geat A Someone has stolen the dragon s drinking cup The treasure upon which the dragon sleeps was left by an ancient and now extinct race History of the British Isles Much immigration 0 Original people the Iberians o Picts and Celts from Scandinavia into Scotland and Ireland 0 AngloSaxons invade from NW Germany and take over England southern part of the island after the fall of the Roman Empire 0 Danes Denmark and Normans France Point There is a vast mixture of different peoples cultures and languages in this very small area from which the story of Beowulf originates the content of the poem is thus greatly influenced by and represents and speaks for and to a multitude of peoples Original story likely of AngloSaxon origin Oral Culture Beowuforally shared until a priest records it o Poetic devices such as alliteration help the speaker or scop remember details of the story 0 Tells the history of a particular people every recital slightly different 0 Rhapsody to sew together with each telling the story grows richer and more diverse o A highly adaptable piece With the Christianization of Europe Christian references such as the allusion to the story of Cain and Abel are introduced to the original poem s pagan ideas Feudalism Thane v Lord A thane knight serves in exchange for largesse or lordly gifts a winwin relationship 0 These gifts serve as both compensation and memorial of a bond or friendship a symbol 0 Bonds forged through marriage and broken through war 0 Sanguinary bonds those of blood British Literature Beowulf Notes 82715 0 Affinal bonds those of affinity or choice and friendship Hrothgar and Beowulf In part 1 ofthe poem Beowulf is a thane before the death of Grendel and his mother In part 2 he is appointed king of Geat and thus takes on the roll of a lord His thaner virtues include Supernatural strength ability to kill Bravery heroism Kindness o Refers to Unferth as quotmy friend 0 Actually leaves his inheritance to Unferth in the event that he dies fighting Grendel s mother 0 Never raises his hand to another man Generosity Loyalty Peacefulness diplomatic Honor a fair fighter 0 His ego is also his epic flaw Credits his victories to God fate Beowulf serves as a better thane than lord perhaps the two are mutually exclusive and you can t have a quotthaner lord The Monsters The various monsters in the text represent Nonhuman opposition Evil sin 0 Gluttony greed wrath Uncleanliness Revenge 0 The dysfunctionality of as represented by Grendel s mother Anticommunity o Descendants of Cain who killed his own brother 0 Original owners of the treasure guarded by the dragon have effectively exterminated themselves as a result of war last member buries it because it is worthless without community 0 Thief steals cup to appease his lord and gain entrance back into society Materialism 0 As represented by the dragon
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