For today’s class, we are going to start our study of the epic poem Beowulf.
Please complete the following:
- View Beowulf presentation. Please take notes on the important elements of an epic poem and the basic outline of the story.
- Review the “Kennings” handout. Write 3 original Kennings of your own with the explanation. Be prepared to share with class tomorrow.
You can also use this link to view the presentation and a typed transcript – Beowulf Prezi Link.
Once completed, make sure you submit the Opening Questions Handout.
A kenning is a literary device in which a poetic phrase substitutes for a noun. In the best kennings, one element of the phrase will create a striking, unexpected comparison. Often used in Anglo-Saxon poetry and especially in Beowulf, a kenning provides powerful imagery that would help the audience focus on the words of the scop or poet telling the story. A kenning also allows the scop some variety, so words don’t become overused. Finally, Anglo-Saxon poetry depended heavily on alliteration, and some kennings provided additional alliteration.
Read the full handout and complete 5 of your own original Kennings.