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Brit Lit Essay Questions
Terms in this set (12)
Provide at least three specific examples of how Beowulf qualifies as an epic hero:
• Hero travels to a supernatural world: Beowulf enters Grendels others home, the underwater hall
• Helpers, hero receives a charm, aid, or advice: Beowulf is given a guide to reach GM, ontop of that Beowulf is aided by the sword known as Eotens in the fight against GM, a sword forged by giants, to large for ordinary men to use.
• Obstacles: Beowulf faces 3 monsters,
• Death: Beowulf nearly gives up when his sword breaks and he is struck by the dragon for a third time. His will to fight returns after Wiglaf steps in.
Grendel: A monster who is descended from Cain.
Represents fratricide, likely; Vikings were "brothers" but also fought each other often.
has lived in misery since being banished to the moor from Cains land after Cain kills his brother Abel
symbolizes the root of evil, revenge Her motive for attacking the Danes was avenge the death of her only child. Beowulf going after Grendel's Mother a way of saying revenge is a bad, and that evil things and needs to be eradicated at its roots
The Dragons Allegory
Symbolizes the greed of man kind, and the destructive feet they will go to obtain goods. The thief stole the dragons cup, a single cup in a hoard of treasure, causing the dragon to rage and attack to retrieve what is his. By killing the dragon, is Beowulf trying to eradicate
Does Sir Gawain ultimately live up to standards of being chivalrous knight? Please explain why he either does or does not, and use specific elements of the chivalric code in your answer.
Sir Gawain was a perfect example of a chivalrous knight,
• he feared God and maintained his church. Throughout the story Sir Gawain prays and attends mass, he worries about missing mass showing that he fears God as he should.
• He does all that he can to avoid giving offense, an example of this is when he is a host and continues to refuse the hosts seductive wife in ways that do not offend her, but at the same time refrain from giving in to her adulterous ways.
• He lives a life of honour, and protects the honourof his King, such as when he stepped up to take King Arthurs place in facing the Green Knight.
• Unlike the other knights he showed that he never refused a challenge from an equal, and
• when the challenge seemed unwinnable he still went to face his foe.
*Near the beginning of Everyman, Death tells the character Everyman that he must prepare for "a pilgrimage." Please explain what type of pilgrimage he must undertake, and if he does, in fact, properly prepare for that pilgrimage.
• He is going a spiritual pilgrimage to face the lord and discover his judgment, a pilgrimage to face his death. To prepare for this pilgrimage he looks inside himself and comes face to face with the virtues he loves, as well as the virtues that he will present the Lord. This was the proper way to prepare because by doing so he learns the traits that are really important and is able to repent for his sins before seeing God.
How Chaucer satirizes the miller
The Miller's portrait draws heavily upon negative medieval stereotypes about lower-class people. The idea was that such people were "all brawn, no brains. Chaucer satires on this stereotype by giving the miller a tale that is more clever than the rest, despite the miller being drunk when he tells it.
.Can Everyman be described as an epic hero? Why or why not?
No, though everyman does have some of the characteristics of an epic hero such as,
Destiny: Everyman has a destiny to face god and give a summary of their life on earth
Helpers: when he receives a garmen, signifying his remorse, from knowledge to give to god
He is not both universal and unique because everyman is just as he sounds, he is every man, thus he cannot be a hero of great and noble deeds when he is a summarization of humanity as a whole and when the only monster he faces is himself.
How Chaucer satirizes the wife of bath
Often, a woman looking for a husband would be characterized as a damsel in distress; as a feeble female who waits for a knight in a shining armor. After all, these are the times when the themes of chivalry and the concept of the damsel were most used. Hence Chaucer deviates from the norm and presents to us a rough-looking, abrasive women who is very open with her sexuality. And makes her a target in the eyes of men despite her traits being the opposite of a damsel in distress. This is how the satire comes through in the tale.
How Chaucer satirizes the pardoner
is all sorts of things that, as a religious figure, he should probably not be - a hunter, overfed, expensively-dressed in fur and gold jewelry. satire of religious figures who are supposed to live a monastic life of deprivation and hard work, but instead live a life of luxury and ease
*Please describe three contributing factors to the Great Vowel Shift in the Middle Ages.
1. Mass migration to southeast England after the black death led to groups modifying their speech to allow a standard pronunciation of vowels.
2. Sudden mobility in social classes allowed "underclass" citizens to be appointed royal officials, resulting in a changing of accents to fit in.
3. At the time nobility started to speak English instead of French, so people began to pronounce words differently in order to distance their language from French.
. Please explain the importance of Caxton's printing press technology on British Literature.
• Introduced to England by William Caxton in the 1470s
• Caxton printed as many as 108 books and translated many of them into the English language.
• The adoption and use of the printing press accelerated the standardization of English spelling into the 16th century, this lead to the expansion of he English vocabulary and the regularization of syntax.
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