The Venerable Bede

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Table of Contents
11-12 Beowulf
Words Worth Knowing
Kenning: in Anglo-Saxon poetry, a metaphorical phrase or
compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event
indirectly
Caesura: a pause or break within a line of poetry, usually
indicated by the natural rhythm of the language
Alliteration: the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are
close together
BEOWULF [IN PG. 12]
Feature
Why Pleasing
Boastful speeches
Makes hero seem
superhuman
Values Reflected
BEOWULF [IN PG. 11]
1. (a) What details show the importance of Christian beliefs in the
epic?
(b) What details reveal the importance of pagan warrior values,
such as a belief in fate, a taste for boasting, a pride in loyalty, and
a desire for fame?
2. Frustrated pride may lead to spite, just as loyalty may lead to
vengeance, and eagerness for glory may turn into greed. Explain
how each creature Beowulf battles represents an extreme and
dangerous form of warrior values and behaviors.
3. (a) Is Beowulf a believable character, or is he “too heroic”? Explain.
(b) How does his believability affect your sympathy for him?
WATCH …
The History of English in Ten Minutes
Introductory Overview to Old English
Beowulf Opening Lines
Beowulf Side by Side Translation (with audio)

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