Ubd unit 1 Arlington High School Unit Title

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UBD Unit 1

Arlington High School

Unit Title: Early Epic Literature

Grade Level: 12

Literature: Poetry: Epic Poetry: Beowulf “The Seafarer,” “The Wife’s Lament,”

Modified By: Dionne Leard

Time Frame: Aug-Sept

Key Words:

epic, epic hero, kenning, alliteration, assonance, caesura, elegy, Anglo-Saxon, scop, bard, oral tradition, hyperbole (Beowulf), archetypes

Characteristics of an epic hero

An epic hero:

1. is often of unusual birth

2. has superhuman strength and abilities but is not invincible

3. is smarter than the average mortal

4. must go on a dangerous journey or quest

5. must cross a threshold

6. risks death for glory or for the greater good of society

7. performs brave deeds

8. reflects the ideals of a particular society (For Beowulf, it is Anglo-Saxon.)


Beowulf – mead, mead-hall, spawn, plunder, reparation, heathen, solace, keel, purge, threshold, writhing, sinews, sinuous, affliction, purge, loathsome, hilt, unsheathe

Seafarer/Wife’s Lament – exile, admonish, sentinel, fervent, rancor, compassionate, grievous, winsomeness, rapture, redress, blithe

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