Beowulf Review

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epic

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Tags and Description

English

12th

36 Terms

1

epic

a long narrative poem written in an elevated style; it presents characters of high position in a series of adventures important to a people or nation.

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2

caesura

break in the middle of the line

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3

alliteration

repetition of original sound. Found numerously throughout the epic.

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4

kenning

A metaphoric compound employed in Anglo-Saxon literature in which the name of a thing is replaced by one of its functions or qualities. e.g "word hoard"

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5

Beowulf

protagonist, fights Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon

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6

Hygelac

Beowulf's Uncle, ruler of Geatland

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7

Wiglaf

Beowulf's one loyal soldier in the fight against the dragon also a relative of Beowulf and he is the successor to the throne

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8

Hrothgar

King of the Danes

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9

Unferth

a thane, advising King Hrothgar, he has a flyting with Beowulf.

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10

Grendel

demon that terrorizes mead-hall

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11

Grendel's mother

fought Beowulf in the mere (underwater lair)

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12

Naegling

Beowulf's sword

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13

Geats

Beowulf's kinsmen

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14

Danes

Hrothgar's kinsmen

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15

wyrd

old Anglo-Saxon term for fate

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16

Hrunting

the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth that proves useless in the fight in the underwater lair

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17

elegy

a poem that laments a death or loss

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18

Mead-hall

a place of safety, warmth, and community in the Anglo-Saxon world

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19

Mead

an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey

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20

dragon

the last challenge faced by Beowulf, who dies fighting it. Guards a large treasure-hoard

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21

swords

Beowulf has trouble with them as they always break, presumably because he is too strong

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22

Heorot

The great mead-hall of the Danes

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23

barrow

an Anglo-Saxon burial mound

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24

Head of Grendel

takes four men to carry this

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25

Hilt of sword

Beowulf brings this back from Grendel's lair

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26

Mere

the lair of Grendel's mother

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27

heroic narrative

the story of the deeds and actions of a courageous main character (like of Beowulf)

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28

archetypal

characteristic of the original model or perfect example

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29

oral tradition

stories passed down through generations by word of mouth

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30

Heroic Code

The hero's moral rules of right and wrong

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31

scop

storyteller and composer

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32

Archetype

A detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response

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33

Symbol

A thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract.

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34

shadow-stalker, bane of the race of men, and hell serf

kennings for Grendel

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35

tarn-hag, monstrous hell-bride, hell-dam,

kennings fro Grendel's mother

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36

sky-plague, fire-dragon, sky-borne foe, hoard-guard, sky-winger

kennings for the dragon

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