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.
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
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 __________
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. _________________________________________________________________ 1. 2. 3. 4. 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.
Anglo-Saxon Boast Pre-writing
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.