Monday, May 14, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1 Please read the following Biblical verses.

  • Rev. 6:12-15
  • Rev. 8:7-10
  • Rev. 21:5-6
  • March 13:, 22-26
2. Please read "Ragnorok" and notate using the Biblical verses as your catalyst

3. Locate FOUR images that you can connect with "Ragnork

4. Final Exam! Please start preparing for it NOW!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dear Mythology Kids,
 Today in class, we reviewed the final section of BEOWULF, and then I reviewed the take-home questions for your quiz. The questions are located below. We then started our discussion regarding Norse death customs. Each student received a handout and we viewed several images via a power point.
1. Please select two of the following questions for your "Beowulf" take-home quiz. Please complete your questions using MLA format and Academic Voice. If you would like to receive extra-credit then you can respond to more than two questions.

1.      One important poetic device in Old English is the "kenning," a compound word in which one thing is described by a fanciful two-word metaphor. For example, the sea is described as a "whale-road,” Hrothgar is described as a "ring-giver,” and a murderer is described as a "corpse-maker.” What effect do these kennings have on you as a reader? How do they add to the poetic atmosphere of the epic? Locate additional kennings, besides those that we identify together and to those indicated above, and indicate the importance of your chosen kennings.

2.      As discussed in class, Fate plays a significant role in Norse myths. How much control do the characters in Beowulf have over their fates? Are skilled warriors any more likely to succeed than cowards? Include textual evidence from the poem to support your response.

3.      Beowulf represents the successful blending of pagan and Christian elements.  These elements are incorporated side-by-side in the epic.  Describe and explain the placement of these elements including readers’ acceptance of both. Support your response with textual evidence.

4.      In Beowulf, the distribution of wealth is an essential part of the social structure. How important is wealth in Beowulf, and how does it relate to other Norse myths we have discussed. Support your response with textual evidence.

5.      According to the archetypal heroic pattern, is Beowulf a “true” hero? Review the nine traits and indicate if Beowulf’s character follows the archetype. Is Beowulf an ideal hero and king? Is there anything lacking in his character? Support your response with textual evidence. In addition, why is the concept of fame and glory so significant to the Norse warrior? Support your response with textual evidence.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4th, 2012

Dear Students,

If you missed class today, your "Final Exam" was introduced to you. I have included a copy of the explanation for it below.

FINAL EXAM DUE DATE: TUES. May 22nd for B1 and B2

  • Final Exam ExplanationMythology
    Mrs. Kori Crampton
    Due Date __________________

    Consider the following questions?
    What have you learned this year?
    How has your study of Mythology heightened your understanding of popular culture, literature and the world around you?
    Explanation: As discussed on numerous occasions, mythological allusions and references are frequently found in modern culture. Through a knowledge of mythology, one’s understanding of literary work and popular culture increases.
    You are required to select five of the ten options listed below to illustrate your understanding of mythology. You may use examples connected with either Greek or Norse Mythology.

    1.Advertisement using mythological reference and/or allusions.

    2.Album covers using mythological references and/or allusions.

    3.Book title using mythological references and/or allusions.

    4.Vocabulary word used in literary work.

    5. Reference or allusion within a literary work.

    6. Comic strip/cartoon using mythological references and/or allusions.

    7. Company names or insignias using mythological references and/or allusions.

    8. Norse motifs found in other literary work. This option is compulsory!

    9. Artwork with mythological references and/or allusions.

    10. Errors pertaining to any mythological character/concept found in advertising literary work.

    The following requirements are compulsory:
    1. A hard copy of each example (photo copies will suffice if your example is found in a book).

    2. The Internet may not be used to locate your examples.

    3. For each example provided, an explanation must also be included as to why the mythological reference/allusion is an appropriate choice. What is the point of using mythology in advertising? For the book title? Etc.

    4. The explanations need to accompany the hard copy of your examples. I expect them to be 10-20 sentences in length. Assume your audience has no schema regarding the mythology used in the selected examples; therefore, your explanations need to be thorough.

    5. You may not repeat mythological references and/or allusions. So, if you locate an allusion to Pandora in a cartoon, then you can’t include an example regarding Pandora for another option.

    6. You may not use examples shared with you in class (ie. “Apollo Burger”, “Midas Mufler”, “Nike”, “Ajax Cleaner”)

    7. Your exam needs to be submitted in an aesthetically pleasing way. Each example should be mounted on a piece of cardstock with the corresponding explanation on the opposite page. Page protectors are appreciated, but not compulsory. I would suggest a three ring binder purely for organizational purposes!

    8. A title page needs to be included with the following information.
    Your Name
    List of options you selected for your final exam.
I have several examples that I shared with those that were present on Monday. Unfortunately, I can't use the images here, because they are from a power point. I am happy to share the examples with you when you return.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2012

Dear Mythology Kids,

Our introduction to the epic poem Beowulf took place on Thursday, May 5th. Each student received a handout detailing the poem. I have included a copy of it below, but the format is different from the one given in class. Please read the information below so that when you return to class on Tuesday, you will have some schema for the poem.

BEOWULFIn 1936, J.R.R. Tolkien delivered a lecture before members of the British Academy entitled “Beowulf: The Monsters and critics.” Tolkien remarked, “Beowulf is in fact so interesting as poetry, that it overshadows other pieces of the same period. It is the greatest achievement of Old English literature.

The Beowulf manuscript, written about 1000 A.D., was preserved in ways unknown. It is one of few Anglo-Saxon pieces of literature to survive Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and their magnificent libraries in the late 1530’s.

Once Henry separated himself from the Catholic Church, most references to Catholicism, including written texts, were destroyed due to Henry claiming they were “pagan” in origin. The manuscripts housed in the monasteries were then ripped apart and used to polish candlesticks, clean boots and furniture, some were sold as scrap paper to grocers and soap makers; some were sent to bookbinders, who cut them into strips and used them to form the book covers of other books. Somehow, a single manuscript managed to survive this travesty. Yes, the epic poem known as Beowulf. However, the current manuscript is not the original, but a copy, in two distinct hand writings. How many other copies existed, or how close to the original this particular version actually is, we will never know. This copy survived a fire in 1731; however, the top and outer edges of the manuscript were damaged. Fortunately, due to ultra-violet photography, the chard sections, that were once gaps, have now been translated. The poem still bears the scars of the fire. The Beowulf poem is significant because it is a miraculous survivor of the ravages of history. It is now housed in the British Library London, England. I am sure that you will enjoy reading it.

Beowulf is an epic poem, a work of fiction, centered on the main character, Beowulf, and his fight with three monsters. Beowulf blends a fairytale type of narrative, where monsters are defeated with the hero receiving honor and fame. The always relevant theme of “Good vs. Evil” is significant to this piece of literature. The battle between Grendle, Grendle’s mother, and the Dragon illustrate a society that valued war and aristocracy. Layers of morality, tenderness, and piety are intermixed in Beowulf, with the glorification of war, death, and fame. The Beowulf poet captures battle scenes with magnificent skill and vividness in this poem about kings and kingship.

“…He ruled Land on all sides: where ever the sea would take them, his soldiers sailed, returned with tribute and obedience. There was a brace King!” (8-12)

“Then the monster charged again, omitting fire, wild with pain, rushed out fierce and dreadful, its fear forgotten watching for its chance it drove its tusks into Beowulf’s neck; he staggered, the blood came flooding forth, fell like the rain.” (2688-2693)
“… No female, no matter how fierce, could have come with a man’s strength, fought with power and courage men fight with. Smashing their shining swords, their bloody, hammer-forged blades onto boar-headed helmets, slashing and stabbing with the sharpest points.” (1282-1287)

The significance of battle against supernatural forces is what moves the poet, in addition to the hero’s driving force for glory. The strong fighter, the hero, the man who wins that most precious of all treasures, fame, is the man who never gives up, and who does not worry about the possible consequences of bravery.

“… so fame Comes to the men who means to win it, and care about nothing else.”
“… I am old now, But I will fight again, seek fame still…” (2512-2513)

“…But the brave old Swede felt no fear; he quickly returned a better blow than he’d gotten, and struck the beast savagely again…”
“…Grendle Saw that his strength was deserting him, his claws bound fast, Beowulf tearing at his claws. The monster’s hatred rose higher, but power had gone. He twisted in pain…”

Beowulf is a Swedish Geat (Nordic tribe in Sweden), who comes to aid the Danes (Nordic tribe in Denmark) to defeat Grendle, a monster who has terrorized them for years. When Grendle’s mother appears, hungry for revenge due to the killing of her son, Beowulf follows her back to her watery lair and kills her too. Showered with gifts from the Danes, he returns to Sweden where he becomes a great leader of his people. Many years pass, and he faces the threat of an angry fire-breathing dragon, aroused by the theft of a jeweled cup from its treasure hoard. The aging hero kills the dragon, only after suffering a mortal wound, and then dies himself. The Geats bury Beowulf’s ashes in an earthen tower at the sea’s edge, to guide sailors from far and wide.

Principle Character and Terms:
Hrothgar (Dane/Denmark/King of Danes/mead hall is ravaged by Grendle)
Wiglaf: Beowulf’s nephew/fights with B. against the Dragon
Herot/name of mead hall built by Hrothgar
Wergild: “Life for Life”
Unferth: best Danish warrior; jealous of Beowulf

Hygelac: King of Geats (Sweden); Beowulf’s uncle

Beowulf: Geat/protagonist

Brecca: Beowulf’s Childhood friend
Wyrd (urd): unalterable fate/ predetermination of life

Background on Poet and Significance of Poem
The poem is full of Christian sentiments, superimposed with a pagan code of battle, heroism, and kingship. The poet was either a Christian or was familiar with and influenced by Christianity. Some scholars believe that some monkish hand could have added the Christian references to improve and correct an essentially pagan epic. Most of the Christianity within Beowulf can not be so easily dismissed as there is too much of it. “Let God be thanked!” cries Hrothgar when the Danes assemble to celebrate Beowulf’s victory over Grendle. These are his first words; he goes on, almost at once, to assert with great feeling that
“…the Almighty makes miracles
When He pleases, wonder after wonder, and this world
Rests in His hands…” (960-962)

In addition, the poet describes Grendle as being a relation of Cain.

“He was spawn in that slime, Shut away from men; they split
Conceived by a pair of those monsters born Into a thousand forms of evil-spirits and
Of Cain, murderous creatures banished fiends, goblins, monsters, giants,
By God, punished forever for the crime of A brood forever opposing the Lord’s
Abel’s death. The Almighty drove those demons Will, and again and again defeated.”
Out, and their exile was bitter, (103-114)

It is God, who leads Beowulf into victory over Grendle’s vicious mother, once Beowulf has proved that he is willing and able to help himself. The essential nature of this Christianity may not be quite the same as those found in California, London, or Utah, but it is an integral part of the poet’s though and his view of life. The poet is quite skilled at blending pagan beliefs with Christianity. Personally I find it hard to believe that he wasn’t a Christian. If not, he must have had significant interaction with individuals that were of that faith. This is a mystery surrounding the poet that will never be solved as he never openly declared his faith!
We do know several aspects about the Beowulf poet, his name unfortunately, is not one of them. We know that he was an Anglo-Saxon, as the poem is written in his language (Old-English), who must have had some contact with the Vikings. This would have been a strong possibility, as the Vikings had settlements in England between 680-1010 A.D. The central settings of the poem are Sweden, Denmark, and several names occur within the poem in association with Norse religion; these include Hermod and Woden. Beowulf is also described as a Viking by the poet. In addition, the Norse believed in the concept of Wyrd (pronounced ‘urd’) which translated means, “that which will happen.” It is mentioned several times within the poem, and seems to take on a female persona.
2. Students were asked to complete their "take-home" quiz regarding "Idun's Apples" and "Necklace of the Brisings" (Due Monday)
  • If you missed class, please visit with me, so I can give you a "take-home" quiz
3. Students were asked to complete reading the "Introductory Information" given to them in class regarding "Beowulf"

I look forward to reading Beowulf with you next week.

Your FINAL exam!

Dear Mythology Kids, It's nice to "see" you again. Let me offer some "study guidance" for your final exam. Please ...