Anglo-Saxon Boast Assignment

 

The Anglo-Saxon hero was celebrated in poetry and song, and he was expected to tell of his exploits and adventures.  These tales were his boasts.  Beowulf boasts of his prowess in lines 141-169 of Beowulf.  Using these lines as models, write your own “Anglo-Saxon” boast which meets the following criteria:

 

v     It must explain three of your past accomplishments and boast of one future accomplishment.

v     It must be 20 lines long.

v     It must imitate the Anglo-Saxon poetic form with four accented beats per line, no end rhyme, and a caesura in each line.

v     It needs to contain four kennings, multi-word metaphors which re-name people, places, or things.

v     It needs to have three examples of alliteration. 

v     It must be on a piece of paper or construction/poster paper no smaller than 8 ½ by 11 inches, and it must be appropriately decorated in keeping with the accomplishments mentioned in the boast.

Each of these elements must be highlighted and labeled.

 

Example:

                                                            “Hail, Hrothgar!

Higlac is my cousin and my king; the days

Of my youth have been filled with glory.  Now Grendel’s

Name has echoed in our land: sailors

Have brought us stories of Herot, the best

Of all mead-halls, deserted and useless when the moon

Hangs in skies the sun had lit,

Light and life fleeing together.

My people have said, the wisest, most knowing

And best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’

Great king.  They have seen my strength for themselves,

Have watched me rise from the darkness of war,

Dripping with my enemies’ blood.  I drove

Five great giants into chains, chased

All of that race from the earth.  I swam

In the blackness of night, hunting monsters

Out of the ocean, and killing them one

By one; death was my errand and the fate

They had earned.  Now Grendel and I are called

Together, and I’ve come.  Grant me, then,

Lord and protector of this noble place,

A single request!  I have come so far,

Oh shelterer of warriors and your people’s loved friend,

That this one favor you should not refuse me—

That I, alone, and with the help of my men,

May purge all evil from this hall.

 

YELLOW = kennings

BLUE = past accomplishments

GREEN = future accomplishment

RED =  four accented beats

PURPLE = caesura 

TURQUOISE = alliteration
 

Anglo-Saxon Boast Rubric

 

Presentation                                                                                          20 points                __________

Appropriate length                                                                              10 points                __________

Diction                                                                                                   10 points                __________

Content (three present accomplishments, one future)                   20 points                __________

Conventions of Anglo-Saxon poetry                                               20 points                __________

                No end rhyme

                Four beats per line (one line)

                Caesura (one line)

Kenning (four examples)                                                                    10 points                __________

Alliteration (3 examples)                                                                     10 points                __________

 

Total                                                                                                                                       __________

 

 

Anglo-Saxon Boast Pre-writing

 

  • Brainstorm a list of at least FIVE marvelous things you have done in the past. (You have more than five spaces here so that you can brainstorm MORE!)  This could be everything from a piano recital when you were seven to pee-wee football to working a job to making All-State Choir.  BRAG ON YOURSELF!

1.        

2.        

3.        

4.        

5.        

6.        

7.        

8.       

  • Next, you need a goal to brag about.  What do you want to BE when you grow up?  Your goal could be to graduate from GHS, to go to a certain college (Sic ‘em BEARS!), to enter a certain profession, etc.

_________________________________________________________________

  • Now, brainstorm a list of kennings that you could use to describe or rename the people involved in your accomplishments above or the places you went to accomplish these goals or the names of the accomplishments themselves.             (EX.  Your football coach—“the great play planner,”  your mother—“laundry washer,” etc.)

1.        

2.        

3.        

4.        

  • Now you need THREE examples of alliteration.  Alliteration is when you repeat a consonant sound at the BEGINNING of a word at least TWO times in ONE line. 

Ex.  secret sessions, talking of terror”  You could combine this with a kenning such as “fabulous fence builder” for your grandfather who builds fences on his ranch.

1.        

2.        

3.

  • Now it’s time to write.  Begin by WRITING A PARAGRAPH ABOUT YOURSELF IN WHICH YOU INCLUDE ALL OF THE ELEMENTS ABOVE. Don’t worry about making lines of poetry or putting in the pauses (caesuras).  JUST WRITE.
    • You could begin your boast just like Beowulf did
      • Hail ________ (use your teacher's name here)
      • I am the son/daugher of ___________.
      • The days of my youth have been filled with glory (copied straight from Beowulf!)
      • Start here listing the things you've done that you listed in STEP ONE above.
      • Then list the thing you're going to brag that you'll do in the future.
  • Now, divide your paragraph randomly into lines. You need twenty lines.  Make sure your paragraph is long enough to go to twenty lines.  If not, WRITE MORE! DON’T just divide it up into sentences.  PURPOSEFULLY split a sentence into TWO lines.  End the sentence in the MIDDLE of a line.  That CREATES A CAESURA!  You can do the same thing by putting a comma in the middle of a line or using the FANBOYS in the middle of a line. YOU ONLY HAVE TO HAVE ONE CAESURA in your ENTIRE BOAST!  Don’t refuse to do this assignment because you’re having trouble with a caesura! Make sure the lines don’t rhyme because Anglo-Saxon poetry didn’t rhyme.
  • Read EACH of your lines to see if there are four beats in one of them that are accented.  If you don’t understand this, ASK FOR HELP!
  • Then, type up your boast and decorate it.  You can decorate it on the computer, or you can decorate it by printing it and putting it on construction paper, scrapbook paper, etc. with appropriate decorations (like footballs for your participation in pee-wee football or music notes for singing in the third grade music program). Make sure you highlight the elements in your paper—alliteration, past accomplishments, future goal, caesura, four beats in a line, kennings.
Last Modified on October 27, 2008