What is the central theme of Beowulf? 1. Ancestral Heritage2. Individual Reputation
Why is the concern of family lineage so predominate? kinship bonds (helps establish Character and Identity)
What helps develop a good identity? good reputation
Who is the legendary originator of the Danish royal line; what is so important about his background? 1. Shield Sheafson2. was an orphan–thus forcing him to turn to violent actions that eventually developed
What’s the most important concept in Beowulf’s culture? Their memory will continue on after death
Beowulf focuses on the Germanic heroic code, which is: 1. values strength, courage, and loyalty in Warriors 2.hospitality, generosity, and political skill in Kings 3. ceremoniousness in Women 4. good reputation in all People.
Where does most tension spark from? divided loyalties
What divided loyalty sparks the war between the Danes and Frisians? Danish Hildeburh marries the Frisian king. Hildeburh’s brother (Danish) and her Frisian son are killed –Hildeburh is left doubly grieved.
What does warrior culture dictate? better to retaliate than to mourn
What do Hrothgar’s speech as king and, later, Beowulf’s speech as a king have in common? emphasis the value of creating stability in a precarious and chaotic world.
Represents a “safe-haven” for warriors returning from battle; traditions are preserved, loyalty was rewarded Mead-Hall(Hrothgar’s great hall of Heorot in Denmark)(Hygelac’s hall in Geatland)
What does the Golden-Torque symbolize? necklace that Wealhtheow gives Beowulf = symbol of bond of loyalty between her people and Beowulf—and, by extension, the Geats.
What is the meaning behind the Golden-Torque? Hygelac died in battle wearing it
What does the The Banquet symbolize? The restoration of order/harmony among the Danish people
What does the rebuilding of the Mead-hall symbolize? (along with speeches and rewards given) the rebirthing of the community
Who composed Beowulf? unknown Anglo-Saxon poet (around 700 a.d)
From what were Old English elements were developed for Beowulf; what elements Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian peoples had invaded the island of Britain; many Germanic languages that helped develop Setting and Characters
action of the poem takes place around 500 A.D.
True/False: Beowulf thus came to be told by a Christian poet. TRUE
The plot revolves around Scandinavian culture
True/False: The narrator’s culture was somewhat different from his ancestors based on intervention True
In the Scandinavian culture what was the roles of kings and people Warrior Culture; Strong kings demand bravery and loyalty from their warriors– they repay with treasures won in war
What is the setting of Beowulf? Scandinavia
True/False: first hundred years of Beowulf’s prominence, interest in the poem was primarily historical True(the text was viewed as a source of information about the Anglo-Saxon era)
T/F: Beowulf was not widely read until the 1800s and not widely regarded as an important artwork until the 1900s True
T/F: Beowulf has had little direct impact on the development of English poetry. True
T/F: Beowulf is often referred to as the first important work of literature in English True(even though it was written in Old English)
Scop Poet
the verse form of Alliteration is important in Beowulf because It would help Scops remember the many thousands of lines they were required to know by heart.
Which words are stressed: “Lade ne letton. Leoht eastan com” Lade, letton, leoht, and eastan are the 4 stressed words
The most common rhetorical device used in Beowulf is Kenning
Kenning is a short metaphorical description of a thing used in place of the thing’s name
Example of Kenning 1. ship might be called a “sea-rider” 2. king a “ring-giver”
In Beowulf’s youth he demonstrates best values of the heroic culture(in old age he proves a wise/effective ruler)
When is the time of Beowulf’s transition from warrior to king? period following Hygelac’s death
What is the Genre? Alliterative verse; elegy( resembles heroic epic, though smaller in scope than most classical epics )
What is the Language? Anglo-Saxon (also called Old English)
What is the Setting? Denmark & Geatland (a region in what is now southern Sweden)
What is the Mead-Hall called? Heorot Hall
Who did Grendel’s mother kill? Aeschere
What helps Beowulf form into a king? King Hrothgar’s praises and advice about being a good king
What does the poem open with? What’s the significance? 1. funeral of Shield Sheafson; 2. foreshadows Beowulf’s funeral at the poem’s end
What does story of Sigemund told by the scop foreshadow? Beowulf’s fight with the Dragon
story of King Heremod forshadows Beowulf’s eventual ascendancy to kingship
What is the relationship between Hrothgar and Beowulf? Hrothgar knew Beowulf’s father
Who is the father of Shield Sheafson? Sheafson is an orphan.
How does Hrothgar know of Beowulf? Hrothgar was friends with Beowulf’s father.
About how long is the dragon? 50 feet
How long does Beowulf reign as king of the Geats? 50 years
What, according to Beowulf, is better than mourning a death? Avenging a death
Who helps Beowulf against the dragon? Wiglaf
Who taunts Beowulf in Heorot? Unferth
Who is Modthryth? A wicked queen of legend
From whom is Grendel descended? Cain
Who is queen of the Geats? Hygd
Whom does Grendel’s mother abduct and decapitate? Aeschere
How many Geats does Grendel kill? 1
What is Hrunting? a sword
Where do the Geats place Beowulf’s Barrow? On a cliff overlooking the sea
Who is Beowulf’s father? Ecgtheow
What is wyrd? The Anglo-Saxon concept of “fate”
Where do Grendel and his mother live? a lake
What is a scop? a poet
Who guides Beowulf to the dragon’s barrow? the thief
Who gives Hygd three horses? Beowulf
Which character is descended from Shield Sheafson? Hrothgar
What is the name of Hrothgar’s wife? Wealhtheow
How did the dragon’s treasure get in the barrow? It was buried there by the last survivor of a forgotten race.
What is Hygelac wearing when he dies? Wealhtheow’s torque
From about when does the only existing Beowulf manuscript date? 1000 a.d.

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