Due dates: Rough Draft Due: Tuesday, 11/3 Final Draft Due: Friday, 11/6 (test grade)

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English IV: Anglo-Saxon / Medieval Literary Analysis and Synthesis Essay


Rough Draft Due: Tuesday, 11/3

Final Draft Due: Friday, 11/6 (TEST grade)
Assignment: Examine your reading and knowledge of works from the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval periods in order to prepare and write a minimum five-paragraph, critical essay including an introduction, three + body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Choose ONE of the following five prompts. Each prompt has two parts: a literary analysis and connection to modern society. All body paragraphs will address literature of the periods and should contain THREE quotations from the poems in addition to citing a SPECIFIC EXAMPLE of a similarity between the literature and modern culture. Any examples used must STRONGLY connect to the literature and must be included on the Works Cited page.


  1. Analyze: Discuss the importance of the comitatus in A/S life. How was it depicted in Beowulf ? How was it affected by the social breakdown in the latter scenes of Beowulf ?

Connect: How does the concept of comitatus compare with modern day view of loyalty? Are there situations where this intense form of social bond is still practiced today?

  1. Analyze: Discuss the blending between the early Anglo-Saxon cultural values and the influence of Christianity as found in the text of Beowulf. How is this contrast exhibited within the text of Beowulf ?

Connect: Explain how cultural blending is still illustrated in modern society. What kind of cultural blending do we see? Is it similar to or different from the cultural blending of the Anglo-Saxon period?


  1. Analyze: Discuss the development of the medieval romance hero as portrayed in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. HINT: Use your characteristics of a Medieval-Romance handout.

Connect: How does this compare/contrast with heroes of modern day society? Did the heroes of this period have any impact on the heroes that we admire today?

  1. Analyze: Consider the quote: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” In “The Pardoner’s Tale,” what is Chaucer’s view on greed as presented by the three rioters and the Pardoner?

Connect: How does greed manifest itself in today’s world? Is greed still a pervasive problem? Does this statement still hold true to this day?

  1. Analyze: Discuss Chaucer’s satire of the *Church in his presentation of the clergymen in the “General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales.

Connect: How has the public perception of the Church changed in modern day society? * Obviously, after the Protestant Reformation there are many different branches of what was the original Catholic Church.


  • Use MLA format

  • Include an introduction with thesis statement, 3+ body paragraphs, and a conclusion

  • Write body paragraphs that range from 10-12 complete sentences

  • Quote evidence from the text and 1-2 secondary sources

  • Internally document this evidence

  • Provide specific, relevant and cited examples from modern society/culture

  • Be specific and detailed in composing your response

  • Stay formal with your reader: no “I” or personal references

  • Submit your completed essay to www.turnitin.com

  • Enter class with your paper submitted; you are not allowed to go to the library during class

*** Your final draft must be submitted before 7:25 AM on 11/6/2015

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