Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beowulf Read-Along

January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

I've decided to run this read-along a little differently than most other read-alongs. At the beginning of each week, I'm going to post some information with regard to the section of the poem that we're reading.  Nothing too fancy, but just some thoughts, ideas, vocabulary and questions to help readers target certain aspects of the poem that make it unique and interesting.  In this way, I hope participants will get the most out of the poem and gain an appreciation for a wonderfully tragic, yet uplifting, Old English tale.  
Now for the schedule.  The read will be done over the month of May; the poem is not long and the schedule gives us lots of time to read, so this event won't be particularly burdensome if you have other books that you're reading alongside it.  I'll post the line numbers and also a written guide, so those reading translations other than Heaney's will hopefully know where each section begins and ends.  I know that some people enjoy reading at their own pace, but for the maximum enjoyment and for getting the most of out the poem, I encourage everyone to stick to the schedule and read my weekly pre-posts.  Plus, it's fun to read together!


Week 1: May 1st - 8th

Week 1: Lines 1 through 709
From the beginning of the poem to just before Grendel strikes: the last lines read: "One man, however, was in fighting mood, awake and on edge, spoiling for action."

Week 2: May 9th - 16th

Week 2: Lines 710 - 1250
From where Grendel strikes to right before Grendel's mother is introduced ~ another threat lurks in the night.  The last line reads: " ..... to rally round their lord. They were a right people."

Week 3: May 17th – 24th

Week 3: Lines 1251 - 2199 
From where they go to sleep & Grendel's mother is introduced to where Hygelac presents Beowulf with a sword and land.  The last line reads: "..... and sway were inherited by the higher born."

Week 4: May 22nd - 31th

Week 4: Lines 2200 - End
From where times passes, Hygelac falls and Beowulf rules for 50 years to the end of the poem.

I think that's all for now.  Somewhere around April 26th, I'll put up a background post to help us get started.   So come one, come all, to a journey back in time ........ enter the Mead-Hall, meet the Monster and experience the bravery of one of the most courageous heroes in literature!

This reading challenge event is hosted by Classical Carousel. For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.