Set-Up: We have — like Beowulf and his men — just knocked on Herot’s door. In other words, we’re ‘entering’ the story from a very basic level of understanding. [note: hopefully you picked up on the Herot reference!]
Sure, we grasp the basics of the story: there is a bad guy/creature, a king and his men who are in trouble, a hero that arrives to save the proverbial day, an epic battle that is about to begin, etc. Likewise, we diligently begin to note various character’s names and lineage-oriented relationships, figure out the basic plot structure, and wrestle with a bit of language (or epic poetic structure) that takes some early effort for us to ‘translate’ now that summer is over.
At the same time, we quickly begin to realize — as Honors students [note: pat yourselves on the back at this point] – that something deeper and more complicated is going on in this story of swords, warriors and kings running from creepy head-smashing monster-critters. Some of these may include:
- historical/societal connections
- language, syntax, diction, connotations
- literary allusions
- character psychology
- metaphors, similes, symbols
- and this quirky thing that Mr. Long keeps subtly bringing up over and over and over and over…
Part 1: Point out one utterly cool/intriguing thing that you noticed in each of the following sections that goes beyond plot summary:
- “The Monster Grendel”
- “The Arrival of the Hero”
- “Unferth’s Challenge”
- “The Battle with Grendel”
- “The Monster’s Mother”
Part 2: Explain — in 3+ sentences — one of the 5 things that caught your attention. Even if you don’t fully get it, take some time exploring the ideas/possibilities. We’ll learn from each other along the way.