Beowulf, The Wanderer, The Wife’s Lament, and The Seafarer

Hrunting Beowulf’s sword
Hrothgar Danish king, builder of Herot
Herot Hrothgar’s mead hall; golden
Scop musicians in the mead hall;entertainers
Beowulf (character) Great Geat warrior; protagonist, hero; King of the Geats; posses great strength and bravery
Beowulf (Story) epic poem, first story written
Grendel He terrorizes Heorot for 12 years; His skin is impenetrable by weapons
Grendel’s battle Beowulf fights him without any weapons; uses incredible strength to rip off his arm
Grendel’s mother Resides in a lair at the bottom of a lake; avenges son’s death
Grendel’s mother’s battle takes place underwater; Beowulf’s weapons fail but he kills her with a sword that he finds there. At the beginning we fear that Beowulf will die because she puts up a fierce fight.
Dragon An ancient, powerful serpent, the dragon guards a horde of treasure in a hidden mound
Battle with the dragon 3rd/last battle, 50 years after fight with Grendel’s mother, tries to cut dragon but it is too strong and beowulf is too old, breaths fire which hurts Bewolf, passes mail shirt and sword to Wiglaf who kills the dragon, Wiglaf brings the gold to Beowulf
Wiglaf the bravest one, stays behind to help Beowulf, becomes his successor
Beowulf’s last wish to build a monument by the sea so he can be remembered forever because Anglo-Saxon beliefs did not have an afterlife
In The Wife’s Lament, why was the wife so upset? The husband’s family got them to split up. The wife was left to leave her home, her friends, and her family. These women did not have any rights.
Where is the Seafarer’s home? Heaven; he is not at home on land or sea
What is the Seafarer drawn to do? go back to the sea
Epic Poem A long narrative poem telling of a hero’s deeds
Unferth A Danish warrior who is jealous of Beowulf, Unferth is unable or unwilling to fight Grendel, thus proving himself inferior to Beowulf.
Edgatho Beowulf’s father
Elegy a sorrowful poem or speech
Epics use… elevated language
How were Anglo-Saxon stories passed? oral tradition
What did the monks do with Anglo-Saxon stories? copy them down
Caesura A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line; can be shown with a period, comma, or space
Anglo-Saxons beliefs… often are seen in the writing
Alliteration Repetition of consonant sounds
Assonance Repetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximity
What does the Seafarer need and not need? needs sea and not earthly pleasures of gold
Kenning A device employed in Anglo-Saxon poetry in which the name of a thing is replaced by one of its functions or qualities, as in “ring-giver” for king and “whale-road” for ocean
The Anglo-Saxon home defined by the people not the location
Why was the wanderer wandering? all of hid friends and his lord died
What is the wanderer’s opinion on life? looks on it despairingly and reflects on “the fates of men” which is death
Druids celtic priests
Who pushed the Celts out and to where The anglo-saxons pushed the celts out if their land and to the far west of the country
What is the Romans contribute to society in Britain The romans built walls, villas, baths, and roads. Contributed to and improved communication
For which Norse god is the day of the week Wednesday named? Thursday? wednesday- odin, thursday- thor
Who led Anglo Saxon kinship groups? Warriors
When did William of Normandy cross the English Channel? Sept. 26, 1066
Who wrote down the stories that had previously been told orally? the monks
How did English become a language? english descended from old english with the help of Kind Alfred
What is a mead hall? place to sing and celebrate; their home after traveling all the time
How did warriors gain immortality? from the songs by the scops
Allusion A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art. Allusions can be historical, literary, religious, topical, or mythical. There are many more possibilities, and a work may simultaneously use multiple layers of allusion
In “The Wife’s Lament” where is the wife living in exile? in a cave, under a tree, and in the woods
What was the role of women in the Anglo Saxon community? Women were not respected and treated as property; we can see they don’t have rights in “The Wife’s Lament”
To which bird does the speaker identify with in “The Seafarer”? tern
Which poem could be considered to have a prayer at the end? “The Seafarer”
What is the meaning of the word “wyrd”? fate;personal destiny
Which poem is a metaphor for the journey of Christianity? “The Seafarer”
According to the speaker in “The Wanderer” a man cannot be wise until he has what? reflected on “the fates of men”; misery , doom, and death
What does the seafarer say is mightier than any man’s mind? God
When was Beowulf written down? 700-750 A.D.
Where does Beowulf take place? (the name of the country) Scandinavia
In which language was Beowulf composed? old English
Where was Grendel’s lair? mere
Where does the dragon live? in a tower
Who was the King of the Danes? Hrothgar
Who was killed by Wiglaf and Beowulf? The dragon
Who was the first monster? Grendel
Who avenged Grendel’s death? Grendel’s Mother
Which warrior stayed loyal to Beowulf until the end? Wiglaf
What is the name of Beowulf’s sword? Hrunting
From whom was Grendel descended? Cain
What is the name of the golden mead hall? Herot
Who was Beowulf’s uncle? Hygelac

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