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-long narrative poem focusing on an epic hero


-specialized metaphors that use compound words, prepositional phrases, or possessives to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly

Boast (beot)

-a vow, a ritualized vow made publicly by Anglo-Saxon warriors before the lord in a mead-hall the night before a military engagement, his boast, shows that is fair fighter


-loyalty to king, vow to protect the king at all costs! (means life)


-about events in 500 AD, Beowulf composed in about 700 AD, it was finally written down in 1000 AD


-legal system of many Germanic tribes including Anglo-Saxons allowed individual and his family to make amends for crime by paying this fine to family of another man who he had injured or killed, if individual could not pay it, injured family considered within legal rights to kill a member of culprit's family of similar rank/status, "man-gold" or man price

"Seed of Cain"

-Grendel, is a kenning


-repetition of initial consonant sound


-Hrothgar's Hall, a meadhall


-other name for kind/lord, head of community, gifts to thanes after bring back treasure from raids, is a kenning


-how Beowulf was going to fight Grendel, demonstrated that fair

Christian Elements

-pray to G-d, Lord of All Life, Grendel being seed of Cain, written down during the rise of this religion, possibly written by priest who was one of few literate ones

Pagan Elements

-sea monsters, dragon, prayed to old stone gods, send Schild to sea, about time when these beliefs prevalent and composed during that time


-was a place of ritual, boasting, drinking, exchange of treasure/gifts


-where Beowulf is from


-repetition of vowel sounds

A boy on a treasure-laden ship

-Schild Sheffling, washed up on shore of Denmark, had no king so made him king


-storyteller, held very important place in this society, equal in many ways to warriors themselves, sometimes known as "shapers," composed poems, stories, songs telling of deed of warriors to be told and retold for generations to come, thereby affording them a sort of immortality


-"fate," linked to past, requires them to act a certain way


-where takes place, Hrothgar is king of this place, where Herot is

Thegn (Thane)

-a warrior sworn who has sworn his loyalty to a lord in Anglo-Saxon society



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