Beowulf Introduction

Old English and its Significance Today!

Historical Background

Read the following links for additional background information. Add any new information to your notes as you read:

Literary Devices Found in Beowulf

Define each of the following words in your notebook:


Lyric Poem




Literary Device practice. Answer the questions in your notebook.

Identify a lyric poem. What makes a lyric poem different from other forms of poetry? Why might this format be more effective?

Write an elegy.

Identify an epic you are familiar with. What might you expect to see in Beowulf based off of your past experience with epics?

Listed below are some modern kennings. Can you find examples of striking imagery, alliteration, consonance, rhyme, and assonance among them? Can you identify the concept each kenning represents?

1. gas guzzler 6. eye candy

2. headhunter 7. cancer stick

3. muffin top 8. boob tube

4. rug rat 9. couch potato

5. land line 10. tramp stamp

Can you create at least 5 kennings of your own? Be sure to include poetic qualities.

Answer the following questions in your notebook:

1. What is a hero? Explain your definition and give examples.

2. What is courage? How would most people today define courage?

3. What qualities do you believe a good leader should possess? Discuss leadership in our society. Name some modern leaders. What are the characteristics of contemporary leaders? What do we admire about them?

4. What does it mean to be loyal? Tell about a time you were loyal or someone was loyal to you.

5. Why is a reputation important? What factors influence a person's reputation?

6. Why is generosity important? What does it mean to be generous? Write about or discuss the most generous person you know.

7. What was life like for a warrior or a king during the Middle Ages? Use the links you read in class about the historical background and do any additional research you feel is necessary.