Beowulf Cornell Notes

What are the magical qualities of Beowulf? – He can swim for days on end- he can breathe for extended periods of underwater
How does his name tell us that he is no mere human? – He is Beo (Bear) and Wulf (Wolf). his name does not begin exactly as his father’s name, Edgetho
What word is repeatedly said in Beowulf? “Almighty God”
What is the message that it is trying to portray? Men must learn to behave responsibly, and to love and be faithful to one another
What are the religious comments made in Beowulf? The creation story of Genesis is paraphrased, hell is cited as the home of evil, the abel and cain tale is mentioned explicitly. Just as evil is punished, good prevails
What are the Anglo Saxon traditions that were illustrated? Sword-wielding slayer of monsters, upholder of the right, warrior chieftain.- recorded their dreams, aspirations and fears
Where was it taken place in? Sixth Century, Scandinavia and told in old english
What are scops? traveling minstrels during the Anglo Saxon
Robert Cotton (1571-1631) the only original manuscript of the complete 3182 line poem comes from his collection of medieval manuscript
Seamus Heaney In 2000, Irish poet published his translation of Beowulf to public acclaim
Epic a long narrative poem, sometimes developed orally, that celebrates the deeds of a legendary or heroic figure- early epic- homer’s Iliad from ancient Greece, captured the cultural and religious values of the peoples who created and retold them
Common Features of epics – the hero battles forces that threaten the order of his world- the story is told in a serious manner, often in special, elevated language
Legendary Hero A larger than life character whose accomplishments are celebrated in traditional tales
What makes Beowulf a classic legendary hero? Boastful self confidence, his feats of strength, and his victories in battle

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