10 березня о 18:00Вебінар: Шкільне діловодство. Документація заступника директора з навчальної роботи

Урок «Поема Беовульф. Проблематика та теми твору»

Про матеріал

Розробка уроку з предмету Англійська література (варіативна складова) за темою «Поема Беовульф. Проблематика та теми твору» містять теоретичний та практичний матеріал необхідний до уроку. У розробці надано повний обсяг матеріалу для читання (включаючи поетичні твори та уривки прози), вправи на опрацювання теоретичного матеріалу, а також практичні завдання до автентичного матеріалу (уривок твору). Розробка містить ключі до завдань та коментар для вчителя.

Перегляд файлу

The Title of the Lesson: “Beowulf”. The Story-Line and the Issues Raised in the Poem.

Objectives: to work on the plot and the story-line of the poem, revise and summarize the material of the previous lecture; to widen pupils’ vocabulary, to practice reading comprehension, to compare and analyze the place and roles of women, weapon, leaders, feuds in society of that time and of nowadays; to engage the pupils in close readings and analysis of a number of translations of the lines of the poem.

Skills: increase public speaking and verbal communication skills; critical reading skills; critical and logical thinking; interactive and collaborative work skills, creative writing skills.

The Procedure of the Lesson

  1. Lead-in.
  1. Students are asked the following questions:

What does the term English literature refer to?

What is your parent’s favourite English author or book? Tell about it in brief. (a minute for an answer)

What periods in English literature do you know?

  1. Vocabulary Revision.

Match the words with their definitions:

  1. to comprise                                   a) very powerful and impressive and often frightening;
  2. a novel                                          b) to prepare land for growing crops;
  3. to carve                                         c) a man with a high social rank;
  4. a foundation-stone                        d) a piece of land almost completely surrounded by

                                                          water but joined to a large area of land;

  1. a scribe                                          e) to consist of particular parts, groups;
  2. formidable                                     f) the ideas, facts that form the base from which

                                                         something else develops;

  1. peninsula                                       g) an angry and often violent quarrel between two


  1. to till                                              h) to cut a sign or letter on the surface of something;
  2. an earl                                            i) a long written story in which the characters and

                                                          events are usually imaginary;

  1. a knight                                          j) someone whose job was to make written copies
  2. benefit                                           k) an advantage, improvement or help that you get from


  1. feuds                                              l) a man with a high rank in the past who was trained to   

                                                          fight while riding a horse;

  1. Revision of the Previous Lecture. Checking Pupils’ Knowledge.

The “Don’t Say ‘Uh’ Game.

Relate to Prior Learning: use the key words from the previous lecture as the word bank list.

The teacher places coloured note cards inside a bag or hat. There should be several cards for the same word or notion. Some students take turns to pull a note card from the hat. The teacher gives 2 to 5 minutes to think about the subject on their note cards.

The suggested key words for this lesson are: “the term English literature”, “periods in English literature”, “Beowulf”, “the merit of “Beowulf”.

The student will begin his/her speech using the key words in front of the teacher and peers. The catch is: the student can not say “Uh” more than 3 times telling as much as possible about the notion in the card! The student will be scored by the panel of judges on use of key words and less “Uh’s” originality.

  1. Talking about Epic Poems.

 The students share their findings in the Internet or libraries about the examples of epic poems in English literature and give a brief overview of one of the poems. The teacher may put it as a guessing game; a student tells about the plot summary and history of the poem without mentioning the author and the title of the poem The rest are to guess the poem from description.

  1. Instructional Procedures and Activities.
  1. Defining the Characteristics of the Epic Poem in “Beowulf”.

Epic characterisitics include:

  1. The hero is a figure of great national or even cosmic importance, usually the ideal man of his culture. He often has superhuman or divine traits.  He has an imposing physical stature and is greater in all ways than the common man.
  2. The setting is vast in scope. It covers great geographical distances, perhaps even visiting the underworld, other wortlds, other times.
  3. The action consists of deeds of valor or superhuman courage (especially in battle).
  4. Supernatural forces interest themselves in the action and intervene at times. The intervention of the gods is called "machinery."
  5. The style of writing is elevated, even ceremonial.

Is Beowulf an epic? What characteristics among mentioned above did you find in “Beowulf”?

  1. Reading and Analysis of the Translations of the Lines from “Beowulf”.

When we turn to the text of Beowulf, we note that there is no author, but only a translator. Literature written in another language may have several translations. Translations cannot be accurate reflections of an original but are instead “imaginative reconstructions.”  Look at the first three lines of Beowulf  translated by different writers in different years of the 20th century. Compare the translations, focus on word choices and determine which is most appealing to you.


The Case of the First Three Lines

Raffel's Translation

HEAR ME! We've heard of Danish heroes,

Ancient kings and the glory they cut

For themselves, swinging mighty swords!

Kennedy's Translation

Lo! we have listened to many a lay

Of the Spear-Danes' fame, their splendor of old,

Their mighty princes, and martial deeds!

Gummere's Translation

Lo, praise of the Prowess of people-kings

of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,

we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!

Donaldson's Translation

Yes, we have heard of the glory of the Spear-Danes' kings in

the old days—how the princes of that people did brave deeds.

Heaney's Translation

So. the Spear-Danes in days gone by

and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.

We have heard of those princes' heroic campaigns.

Whose translation do you like? Why? Fill in the table:


Unfamiliar Words

Good Phrasing

















  1. Reading the Plot Summary of “Beowulf”. Previewing the Vocabulary.

Match the words with their meanings:

  1. to gain wealth                  a) to fight without using a weapon or a tool;
  2. to feast/to give banquets  b) to eat something quickly because you are very hungry;
  3. antlers                              c) the person who has the legal right to receive the property

                                            of another person when they die;

  1. grim                              d) a large meal where a lot of people celebrate a special occasion;
  2. greedy                          e) to move away from someone or something after being defeated;
  3. to devour                      f) to get or obtain a large amount of money, property;
  4. to fight bare-handed     g) one of the two horns of a male deer/stag;
  5. to retreat                       h) very bad, ugly or unpleasant;
  6. howling/roaring            i) always wanting more food, power, possessions than you need;
  7. to avenge                      j) someone who protects someone;
  8. the guardian                 k) to make a long loud cry because you’re in pain;
  9. an heir                          l) to do something to hurt or punish someone because they have

                                        harmed you;

  1. What or who do the key words refer to in the text? Scan the story and read out the sentences with them.
  2. Whole-class assignment.

Read the story of Beowulf. Choose the most suitable heading from the list (A-F) for each part (1-6) of the story.

  1. Beowulf – king of the Jutes.
  2. Battle with Grendel’s mother.
  3. The last glorious victory of the king.
  4. Hrothgar builds Heorot.
  5. Beowulf fights Grendel.
  6. Grendel’s fury.
  1. Long, long ago there lived a king of the Danes named Hrothgar. He had won many battles and gained great wealth. Once he decided to build a large palace where he could feast with his kinsmen and warriors. When the gold-roofed hall was built, it was so beautiful that all the people around could not tear their eyes off it. In this marvelous hall Hrothgar presented costly gifts to his warriors and gave splendid banquets. The palace was called Heorot (Stag-hall) because it was decorated with antlers of stags (deer).
  2. The joy of the king didn’t last long. In the dark fens near by there lived a fierce sea-monster, the “grim and greedy” Grendel, who got madly envious of the festive noise and wanted to destroy Heorot. Grendel looked like a man but was much bigger, and his whole body was covered with long hair, so thick and tough that no weapon could harm him. One night when the warriors in Heorot were fast asleep after their feast. Grendel rushed in, seized thirty men and devoured them. The next night the monster appeared again. The men defended themselves bravely, but their swords could not even hurt the monster. From that time no one dared to come to Heorot. For twelve years the palace stood deserted.
  3. The news of the disaster reached Beowulf, nephew of Higelac, king of the Jutes. Hrothgar had heard of Beowulf’s strength and heroic deeds, so he gladly welcomed the famous warrior and gave a banquet in Heorot to honour him. Late at night, when the feast was over, all went to sleep except one. It was Beowulf, who remained on watch waiting for the monster. As Beowulf knew that no weapon could kill Grendel, he was ready to fight bare-handed. Suddenly the man-eater broke into the hall. He seized and devoured one of the sleeping warriors, and then approached Beowulf. A desperate hand-to-hand fight began. It was so terrible that the walls of the palace shook. Beowulf managed to tear off Grendel’s arm, and the monster retreated to his den howling and roaring with pain and fury. He was fatally wounded and soon died.
  4.  The next night Grendel’s mother, a water-witch, came to Heorot to avenge her son’s death. She was wild with woe and anger. Beowulf decided to fight the water-witch. In full armour, sword in hand, he plunged into the waters full of hissing serpents. He found the water-witch in her den beside the dead body of her son Grendel. A desperate fight began. At first Beowulf was nearly overcome, as his sword had no power against the monster, but fortunately his glance fell upon a huge sword hanging on the wall. It was a magic weapon. Beowulf seized it and it went deep into the monster’s heart. Then he cut off the heads of Grendel and of the water-witch and carried them to the surface as a proof of his victory. Hrothgar poured treasures into Beowulf’s hands. Heorot was freed forever.
  5.  At last the day came for Beowulf to sail home. Everybody regretted his departure. When Beowulf arrived in his own land, he gave all the treasures he had brought to Higelac and the people. After the death of Higelac, Beowulf became king of the Jutes. For fifty years he ruled the country wisely and well until one day a great disaster befell the happy land: every night there appeared a fire-breathing dragon who came and destroyed the villages and the crops of the realm. The dragon was the guardian of ancient treasures stored in a cave, and a passing traveler had managed to carry away a jeweled cup. The burning of the crops was the fire-dragon’s revenge.
  6. Remembering the glorious youth, Beowulf decided to fight the dragon and save his people, but of all his earls only Wiglaf, a brave warrior and heir to the kingdom, had the courage to help him. In a fierce battle the dragon was killed, but his flames burnt Beowulf, who now was dying of his wounds. Beowulf ordered Wiglaf to take as much treasure as he could carry and give it to the Jutes. In his last hour he thought only of his people, for whose happiness he had sacrificed his life. Before burning the body of the king, Wiglaf put the blame for his death upon the cowardly earls. Here they are called “the tardy-at-battle” (“tardy” means “late”).
  1. Reading Comprehension.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Which paragraph sets the scene? How does it begin?
  2. Why does Grendel attack Heorot? Find the paragraph that tells about this.
  3. Which paragraph describes the battle between Beowulf and Grendel. How does Beowulf wound Grendel?
  4. How does Hrothgar reward Beowulf?
  5. Why does Grendel’s mother attack Herot?
  6. Which paragraph tells about how Beowulf becomes king of the Geats?
  7. How does the dragon react when it notices its cup has been stolen?
  8. Why doesn’t Beowulf fear the dragon?
  9. How is Beowulf killed? Describe his battle with the dragon.
  1. Group Discussion. Identifying the Themes in the Poem.

 The class is divided into groups of 5-6. Each group is given 5 minutes to discuss the issues, find the arguments and choose the speaker for each item from their group. Then, the groups take turns to share their ideas to the class.

Read the questions or statements about the themes expressed in “Beowulf”. Discuss in groups and say if your group agrees or not with the statement. Prove your thoughts with the lines or facts from the story.

Statement 1. Discuss the battle between good and evil in the poem. Who represents good? Who represents evil?

Statement 2. All the concepts in the poem are presented with and through a “Christian overlay” though the original story may be termed as pagan (dragons, monsters, witches).

Statement 3. Beowulf is drawn from both the pagan and the Christian traditions.

Question 4. What is a hero? Explain your definition and give examples. Is Beowulf a hero? Why/why not?

Question 5. What is courage? How would most people today define courage? What is important to the warriors in Beowulf? What qualities did they feel a good king should possess? What do they consider “courageous”?

Background information for teachers: The epic tells of times long before the Angles and Saxons came to Britain. Many parts were added later. The whole poem was written down by a Christian monk in the 10th century when Christianity had already penetrated into Europe. A scribe made the poem religiously appropriate for the ideas of his day. The pagan traditions are expressed through the gods, monsters, witches people believed in. But the desire of man to do away with them and to become master of his own destiny cannot be related to pagan traditions. Beowulf’s victory over the monsters symbolizes the triumph of man over the powers of evil and death.

  1. Follow-up.

Answer the questions (work out the answers in groups):

  1. Look back at the questions you’ve just discussed. Make a list of themes covered in the poem using the questions as a hint.
  2. The poem shows the existence of continual feuds that seem similar to those between some nations and peoples today. Was a feud-tired world ready to accept Christianity? Does Christianity help to solve the conflicts or feuds nowadays?
  3. Compare Beowulf’s first battle with his last. What are the major differences/similarities?

Homework: 1. What were the basic virtues praised by the Anglo-Saxons according to the poem? What are the basic virtues praised by Ukrainian men nowadays? Are there any common? Write a short essay answering the questions. 2. Give the Ukrainian equivalents to the words from task II.2. Learn their meaning.












До підручника
Англійська мова (9-й рік навчання, профільний рівень) 10 клас (Несвіт А.М.)
30 червня 2018
Оцінка розробки
Відгуки відсутні
Безкоштовний сертифікат
про публікацію авторської розробки
Щоб отримати, додайте розробку

Додати розробку