Medieval Literature & Beowulf

Can be fun, really!
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 38 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 5 videos.

Items in this lesson

Can be fun, really!

Slide 1 - Slide

1. Entertain: it is to be enjoyed, so approach with an open mind!
2. Learn about historical periods, looking through the eyes of the people who actually experienced that part of history rather than through the eyes of scholars writing about that same part of history a couple of centuries later.
3. Learn new words

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- Listen carefully and take notes

- Step away from the conviction that literature can only be horrible.

- Courage!

Slide 3 - Slide

Medieval Literature: Old English

Slide 4 - Slide

Your favourite hero?

Slide 5 - Mind map

Why do people need heroes?

Slide 6 - Open question

Historical background Information

Slide 7 - Slide

Roman Britain
- 50 BCE- 410 CE

- Romans bring Latin

- 410: Romans leave to defend homeland

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Anglo-Saxon Britain
- Different small kingdoms
- Wars between the kingdoms 
- Viking invasions and Danelaw --> Migration of the Peoples

- development of Old English also known as Anglo-Saxon English

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Slide 12 - Video

Slide 13 - Slide

What modern language is closest to Old English (450-1066 CE)?
Modern English

Slide 14 - Quiz

Frisian is one of Europe’s least changed languages. 
English is one of Europe’s most changed languages. 

 Hoi, Aelfred is myn namme. Myn marse is fol fan Eels, buten Langh festjen is nin brae sperjen.

   Hwaet! Aelfred is min nama. Min bearwe is æla ful, ac an longe fæsten biergeþ nan hlaf.

   Hello, Alfred is my name. My basket is full of eels, but a long fast saves no bread.

Slide 15 - Slide

Slide 16 - Video

The end (of the Early Middle Ages)

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Answer the following questions about the old-English period.

Slide 18 - Slide

What is the English term for the historic period of 500-1066 ?

Slide 19 - Open question

Who tried to invade the British isles during the Anglo-Saxon period?

Slide 20 - Open question

The Middle English Period: 1066-1500

Slide 21 - Slide

Middle Ages

Slide 22 - Mind map

The Middle English Period
  • 1066-1485: (later) Medieval England
  • The Norman Conquest
  • Social change: the feudal system
  • A long war in France: the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)
  • A bloody war at home: the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485)
  • 1485: beginning of the Tudor Period
  • Linguistic change: a new language

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Norman Conquest

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Middle English (1) - History
  • 1066 - c. 1300: two languages side by side
  • Norman French: language of court, government, the law and trade
  • Old English: language of the common people (peasants, townspeople)
  • the two slowly merge into one language
  • c. 1300: Middle English
  • c. 1480: towards (Early) Modern English
  • Started with the battle of Hastings

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Slide 26 - Video

feudal system

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divine right

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Slide 29 - Video

- Written around 850 CE
- Original in Old English
- First piece of literature (that we know of) written in Great Britain
- Epic hero story
- Over a thousands years old but still relevant today

Slide 30 - Slide

Why can't we call Beowulf the first English text ever written?

Slide 31 - Open question

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Slide 33 - Video

What are your first thoughts on this 'story'

Slide 34 - Open question

Epic poem
- Viking influences  because story takes place in Sweden
- Epic hero, great heroism and bravery
- The setting of the poem is vast and could include land, seas, oceans, the world, or even the whole universe.
- Supernatural or other worldly forces or beings such as Gods, angels, or demons
- written in a formal manner and they often use exaggeration.

Slide 35 - Slide

7 characteristics of an epic hero
- Noble birth
-  Super human capabilities
- Vast traveler
- Unmatched warrior
- Cultural legend
- Humility
- Battles superhuman foes 

Slide 36 - Slide

Epic Hero

Slide 37 - Mind map

Why is Beowulf an example of a classic epic poem?

Slide 38 - Open question