Grendel's Mother and Beowulf

Powerful Essays
Topics: Beowulf
A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO THE SIGNET CLASSIC EDITION OF

BEOWULF
By DANA HUFF

SERIES

W. GEIGER ELLIS, ED.D.,

EDITORS:

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, EMERITUS

and

ARTHEA J. S. REED, PH.D.,

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, RETIRED

A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of Beowulf

2

INTRODUCTION
Beowulf ’s origins are mysterious. While we do not know the identity of the author, and we are unsure of its precise date of composition, most scholars believe it was composed by a single Christian author for a Christian audience in AngloSaxon England anywhere from the eighth to eleventh century. Beowulf was composed in the oral poetic tradition. Whether it was originally written or oral is not known. The poem, filled with biblical allusions to the Old Testament, is also influenced by Germanic oral tradition and Old Norse myth and legend.
Beowulf is well suited for upper-grade high school students of all abilities. Adolescent readers will enjoy its action and adventure. Television shows, such as Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules, and movies like The 13th Warrior (based on
Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead), have helped pique student interest in stories of feudal heroes.
Most upper-grade high school students previously have been introduced to epic poetry and its related concept of the epic hero in such works as The Odyssey. Lower-ability students should be able to read and understand Beowulf with the help of plot summaries and class discussions. All students will benefit from learning about Anglo-Saxon customs and values through the study of this early poem in a modern European language.
This teaching guide is organized in three sections presenting suggestions to be used before Beowulf is read, while it is being read, and after the reading is completed. Following these sections are a Bibliography and a Webliography for pursuing further study.
BEFORE READING
Before reading Beowulf students should review the definitions of epic

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    composed Beowulf was a unknown Anglo-Saxon poet (around 700 a.d) What is the Setting? Denmark & Geatland (a region in what is now southern Sweden) What is the setting of Beowulf? Scandinavia, Geatland. Hygelac rules Geatland at the beginning of the poem. The first night that Grendel attacked the mead-hall, Heorot, he kill thirty (30) Scyldings (men). Beowulf's father was Ecgtheow. four (4) men does it take to carry Grendel’s head back to the mead-hall. Beowulf defeats Grendel’s mother by using…

    • 1003 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    EXTENSION ENGLISH: HERO WORDS:2079 DASSI. KASTEL Hero assignment What is a hero? Throughout the ages the concept of a hero changes and transforms into what a person people typically find heroic. The hero figure changes over time. One would imagine a hero to be a strong, intelligent and charismatic character, typically a knight or prince riding on a gleaming white stallion to save a maiden or city from a dangerous threat. There is a quote by a man of…

    • 2081 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Regardless, she still has monstrous qualities that point her out as an antagonist in Beowulf. But before continuing, because I believe that Grendel’s mother should have a name, she will be referred to as Ultio, the Latin equivalent of revenge (which is fitting, since the abstract idea she symbolizes is vengeance). Lines 1276 to 1278 say, “But now [Grendel’s] mother had sallied forth on a savage journey, grief-racked and ravenous, desperate for revenge.” It’s made blatant very…

    • 1800 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Five-Week Assessment Fall 2008 12th Grade British Literature Beowulf 1. Beowulf may have been first told by a scop who was a(n) a. Traveling entertainer b. Monk c. Epic hero 2. Two conflicting codes in this poem are a. Christian and pagan b. Materialist and idealist c. Political and spiritual 3. Beowulf sails to Denmark because a. He wants to fight Grendel b. Hrothgar invited him c. A big reward was offered 4. Grendel is a descendant of a. Satan b. Chaos c. Cain…

    • 2021 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    H English 10A 19 August 2013 Warrior Prince Beowulf: An Epic Hero Epic hero - Noun A brave and noble character in an epic poem admired for great achievements or affected by grand events. In the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel, the warrior-prince Beowulf portrays each quality required to be an Epic Hero. When Beowulf is challenged, he stands his ground, with his head held high and his mind suffused with pride. He fears nothing and no one. Beowulf’s…

    • 940 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    understanding of the poem. Throughout the poem, Hrothgar and Grendel’s mother are illustrated differently than from the film. In the poem I pictured Hrothgar as someone who, when Grendel was tormenting his people, felt “joyless in Herot…mourning the fate of his lost friends and companions.”(Beowulf 44) and instead he was shown as a heartless, inebriated king in the movie. In the poem, Grendel’s mother was described as a she-wolf, a monster (Beowulf 449) but, in the movie she is shown as a beautiful creature…

    • 403 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    ensured that neither left the field of battle before the other. If a warrior deserted his fellow warriors, he was essentially outcast by his clan. Specific Anglo-Saxon texts where the comitatus code is eminently portrayed are “The Wanderer” and “Beowulf”. “The Wanderer” is an Anglo-Saxon poem in which a warrior longs for old times, as he nostalgically ponders when he served his lord as well as feasted with his friends. The wanderer in the story has lost his fellow warriors and lord in battle, and…

    • 628 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Beowulf, written by Seamus Heaney, is narrated by a Christian poet and directed towards an old English audience. The text reveals to have a reflection of the patriarchal society in which the story was written. The story shadows a hero named Beowulf while he embarks on many adventures and vanquishes monsters. This quote takes place after Grendel’s vengeful mother makes an appearance and murders some of the villagers. Despite these murders, Grendel’s mother is belittled because of her lady-like demeanor…

    • 493 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Grendel and Grendel’s mother are a response to and embody the the Anglo-Saxon’s collective fears of the unknown, since Grendel and his mom are both mysterious and supernatural. Unlike the Dane’s who are human and only have certain abilities, Grendel (insert quote about his body being different-not able to cut). He is literally different from those like Hrothgar and his people, as he possesses physical qualities that are foreign to them. There is a fear of Grendel because he is different, and people…

    • 211 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Beowulf is an epic poem that was written in 838 A.D. This epic represents the good and the evil that is shown in Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel’s mother. Beowulf and his people may see Grendel and Grendel’s mother as the evil, but Grendel and Grendel’s mother see Beowulf and his people as the evil. The good and the evil is shown in their actions and beliefs. Good and evil is shown literally and religiously throughout this epic poem. Beowulf represents the good and Grendel and Grendel’s mother represent…

    • 646 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays