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Katie Uken

on 6 January 2016

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Transcript of Beowulf

Ancient to Modern

Where did all languages originate?
Why do we have multiple languages?
How does language transform over time?
Hero of imposing stature
Vast Setting
Actions and deeds that are heroic and take courage
Supernatural forces
Sustained elevation
Objective Poet
6 Characteristics of an Epic
: 8th-10th centuries
: Assigned by modern editors not original author
: Old English
: trained singers who composed heroic poems for the entertainment of kings and warriors at celebrations in
The Scops were the historians spreading the fame of their kings and warriors to the following generations
: Anglo-Saxons became literate after conversion to Christianity in 597 AD
Beowulf Manuscript
Location: British Museum
Recorded by hand: 2 Christian Monks
Date: 1000 AD
Background on Poem
One of the earliest European epics physically written down
Native tongue
of epic: Long and formal narrative poem written in an elevated style that recounts the adventures of a hero of almost mythic proportions who often embodies the traits of a nation or people
The Epic
Beowulf Handout
Read pgs. ix-xii of Introduction
Fill out Beowulf Introduction Handout (located in GC)
Class Discussion
Lecture Notes (GC)
Old English to Modern English
Old English- Combination of German and Dutch
Norman Conquest of 1066
French-speaking ruling class
New forms of government and culture
Great Vowel Shift
"change of the articulation of vowels with respect to the position of the tongue and the lips" (Norton).

in Old English
Prologue: Lines 1-3


Small Group Activity
Listen to Old English
Follow link in Lecture Notes
Find paragraph # that matches group #
Figure out pronunciation as a group
Present pronunciations
Oral Tradition
Oral Poem
- Told from memory and passed on from person to person and generation to generation

Vernacular Art
- Art that is made by and for ordinary people and is part of their everyday lives. Vernacular Art uses simple, everyday language, even when it's an extraordinary story
"Literature is the handmaiden of history."
-Mrs. Burdick
Primary Literary Devices
Rhetoric- Art of persuasion through language
Formal Boasting- Ritualized, formal brag about ancestry, heroic qualities, past accomplishments, current intentions and promised future success

Litotes- Negative Term to make a positive statement

Flyting- The highly competitive, ritualized exchange of insults in verse
Purposes: Entertainment, Demonstration of Superiority
Full transcript