Beowulf.doc - johnsonwiWritingFolder

English 12
Garrett Johnson
Burton Raffel Introduces Beowulf
1. According to Burton Raffel, who or what drives the plot of Beowulf?
Powerful man-eating monsters, and at the end a greedy fire-spouting dragon.
2. What are two magical qualities that the hero Beowulf possesses?
Swim for days, and he can breathe underwater for extended amounts of time.
3. What are three ways that Beowulf’s name tells us that he is no mere human
Beo = Bear Wulf = Wolf Edgetho = Superhuman. His name is not the same as his fathers
4. According to Raffel, how does the author of Beowulf create suspense at the
start of the poem?
Beowulf and the monster Grendel are facing off in the intro and Beowulf comes to save
the day.
5. Why does Grendels mother enter the narrative?
She is hungry for revenge
6. According to Raffel, how does the fire-breathing dragon contrast with a good
king like Beowulf?
A good king shares his treasure and the dragon does not.
7. What arguments does Raffel use to support his claim that Beowulf is “very
much an Old Testament poem”? Do you find these arguments persuasive?
Why or why not?
Nable and Cain, good versus evil, creation story, Story of Gods. Yes, it reflects the Old
Testament poems.