Blog Assignment #6

Happy October, North House!

Literature is one of the most important things in our society and our schools. But… why? Have you ever started reading a work by Shakespeare and wonder, “Why am I reading this? There are so many words that I would never use in any kind of conversation.” Please watch this video here. (Sorry it is so long).

In class we read the wonderful tale of Beowulf, the tale of the conquering hero as he slayed monster after monster. The question is, how did reading and analyzing Beowulf benefit us as students and as people? Are there any lessons or themes that can be applied to our modern society?

 

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36 thoughts on “Blog Assignment #6

  1. As Suhas stated in his post, we read and analyzed Beowulf, which I personally enjoyed tremendously. The story filled me with feelings of courage and adventure not easily felt through other works of literature. Now I know many others think the same question that Suhas posed of why we read these types of literature. I know I myself have thought that question. In reality, though, there is a multitude of benefits from readings these stories, such as Beowulf.

    First off, reading and analyzing provides us with a historical look at fiction and allows us to contrast this with today’s fiction. Referring back to the video with John Green, he states that reading old literature allows us to “Hear the voices of the dead” and improves our communication. I really think the point of communication is important here. Analyzing Beowulf lets us grow as communicators and improve our skills. This progresses us as students because it gives us the knowledge to continue reading older fiction. As for people, analyzing this lets us think differently and more critically about our communication in daily life and makes us more aware as a people.

    The lesson of being defined by your actions should really make a comeback in our society. As a people today, we often times act differently than we speak and make empty promises. Beowulf, the hero, was not like this. He proved what he said with his actions. He let his actions explain to others what he meant and stood for. I think that this is a lesson we should all pick up.

    Finally, with Suhas posing a question of literature, do you believe that fiction of non-fiction provides us with more valuable lessons? Why?

  2. Reading and analyzing Beowulf seems to be an essential in high school academics. As students, Beowulf is a great piece of literature to analyze: it is one of the earliest known works in English, it provides valuable insight into the culture and values of the Anglo-Saxon society, allowing students to imagine how English literature began and developed, and it provides a good introduction to poetic concepts. Some of these concepts include epic poetry, alliterations, accentual verses, metaphors, and imagery.

    There are multiple lessons to learn and concepts to compare from Beowulf that can be related to modern day life. For instance, a lord, or the modern-day boss, chooses the best subjects, or workers, in the land through their experience in battle or a resume of their previous experience. The lord, boss, provides his subjects, employees, with a share of his wealth/salaries. In return, a subject, employee, promises to remain loyal to his lord, boss, ready to die in battle or at the office, finishing a project before a deadline. If a battle is won or a deal is closed, an ideal lord, boss, will divide the treasure among his subjects, or award a big bonus check to his employees. A violation of this agreement results in the exile, firing, of the subjects, employees, and a loss of income, followed by shame and embarrassment.

    In addition to this, similarities between personal relationships then and now are relevant. For instance, betrayal within a family, murder caused by jealousy, and marriage for the wrong reasons are all themes in Beowulf. Although cases today might not be as extreme, today’s soap operas, talk shows, and movies reveals that little has changed. Other qualities and themes like loyalty, reputation, and envy, remain thriving in society today.

    In response to Kobe, I believe that non-fiction can provide more valuable lessons. Non-fiction gives us a more believable lesson, since it has happened in real life. It actually prevents us from making the same mistakes that people in the past have.

    Finally, do you personally think that you learned something from reading Beowulf? If so, what did you learn? If not, why do you think you didn’t learn anything?

  3. From analyzing and reading the poem, Beowulf, I realized the importance of studying heroic values. Anglo Saxon Culture, and communication. We learned their values of courage, bravery, truth, honor, loyalty, duty, hospitality and perseverance. It inspires the 10% of stories that are overtly over the top or truly noteworthy and possibly many hero stories such as Hercules and Odysseus.
    It’s personally quite astonishing learning the themes of Beowulf and how its story somehow passed from generation to generation. It can be quite inspiring to not quit even when adversity hits, but really communication is what really developed this story to be an epic as monumental as it is. Without those many moons ago, of people hanging around a fire listening the folklore of someone so mighty, maybe we wouldn’t have learned how to speak.

    For modern society, Beowulf can provide things such as motivation and appreciation for literature. Many stories in fiction that relate to a hero have some kind of ode to Beowulf and provide the most epic of heroes. The phrase speaks “action speaks louder than words” applies to Beowulf. His actions were way more verbose with the way he slain all his foes in his path to save Heroet and gain his full glory.

    How can we as regular people be “heroes” like Beowulf? How is being able to speak give us an edge over other creatures? How we would communicate if we couldn’t speak each others language?

  4. As John Green stated in the video, literature teaches us about the culture of a group of people and the emotions, either the author or characters endured. And it can unarguably be said that one of the oldest pieces of English literature, Beowulf, did teach us something; it taught us the life of the Anglo-Saxon people. Before this reading of the great epic, I believed that Anglo-Saxon’s, or Vikings, were savages and cruel to everyone. However, this epic taught me that Anglo-Saxon’s were one of the most loyal groups of people in history. They stuck by their “boss” through thick and thin, no matter the situation. They may be still considered savages to a certain degree. Beowulf let one of his men die, therefore they may not have valued individual lives like we do today. The epic not only informed us on a group of people, but also instructed us on the effects of written documents. Before Beowulf was written down, the epic was passed orally, which lead to edits. As a story got passed down further and further, the story became victim to paraphrasing and outrageous additions. After the inscription of the tale, the epic became less likely to be changed. Beowulf informed us of this benefit. The only lesson that I can think of that can be applied to our modern society is loyalty. Loyalty is a lesson that should be taught in all grade levels and even after school. Loyalty builds connections and trust, something we need to prosper.

    My question to you all refers back to the Crash Course video. Do you agree with John Green on his opinion of symbolism? To paraphrase what he said, he basically said that if the author did not intend of an object to mean something on a deeper level, it does not matter. “All that matters is that it is there.”

  5. I believe reading and analyzing Beowulf helped benefit us as students and people, as stated in John Green’s Crash Course, is to help better understand thoughts as emotions or a culture as a whole. Beowulf, for example, gave us a better understanding of the Anglo-Saxons views on heroic values. We had a way of seeing what their culture valued as well. The poem was told orally until written down by priests, but it was a form of communication. A legendary tale of a hero. There are a few lessons or themes that could be applied to modern society like communication. In the poem, you could understand their point of view, as what John Green explained. Meaning, you knew what the characters were feeling and their reactions. After reading, you have an idea of how some people could be feeling and how it felt. Which can give you a better way of communicating with others by acknowledging their emotions. However, it doesn’t just stop for Beowulf. There are multiple books, poems, epics, and literary elements that can help us better understand other cultures and communicate efficiently. John Green explained how “The Great Gatsby” can have a great impact by making us connect with the character, Gatsby. Since all of us were assigned to read it, you do recall how compelling the story was to the point where it wasn’t just a story, but a life lesson.

    My question to you: Why do we only analyze and “read” a story, novel, or poem? Because I feel like if there isn’t any enjoyment or any interest, it’ll be pointless and all we will be seeing are words with no purpose across a blank page.

  6. According to the crash course provided by Suhas, John Greene says that when reading old literature, or any literature for that matter, various benefits are yielded. Benefits of being able to recognize symbolism in the story and relating it to real life: sometimes implementing solutions from the story in real life as well. However, there are less literal benefits than finding solutions in reading like being more able to describe how you feel, allowing you to share emotions and stories with more precision.
    Responding to Suhas’s second question, although they can be hard to find, there are things from Beowulf that can be applied to our modern society. I found that the theme of perseverance has been an applicable lesson in my life. When Beowulf faces a big monster and falls short, he never gives up. He always has the confidence and the strength to continue his mission and that is something I believe I can work on as I face challenges in my life.
    Answering Adrian’s Question, I do believe that John Greene was right in saying that most authors don’t intend for a lot of symbolism, but that doesn’t matter, all that matters is that it’s there. I see this as true because most people when they write don’t intentionally try to make connections between things and specifically represent things with a story, they just write a story, but if there is a message or a symbol that can help someone or is beneficial, then it doesn’t matter the intention of the author because that intention doesn’t affect you.
    My question now is what other readings and pieces of literature have given you support or benefit in life and what was it?

  7. In response to Suhas’s blog assignment, reading and analyzing Beowulf benefitted us as students and as people because it taught us a different culture, Anglo-Saxons. When we first read about the Anglo-Saxons, it gave us background information that we can connect back to when we started reading Beowulf. For example, we learned that the Anglo-Saxons were illiterate and they had Christian monks write down their stories. So when we read Beowulf, we knew why there were many religious references. Referring back to the Crash Course, John Green also said it is important to read literature because you can learn and be exposed to different lifestyles and cultures. Reading and analyzing Beowulf also benefitted us because it taught us how English literature was first developed. Also, it introduces and familiarizes us with different literary devices such as poetry, imagery, repetition, and alliteration.

    While reading Beowulf, there are a handful of lessons that can be applied to our modern society. For example, today, people can learn from Wiglaf and how he showed loyalty to Beowulf. When Wiglaf was the only warrior who fought for Beowulf, that showed the readers how much the Anglo-Saxons praised loyalty. I think that modern society can learn from Wiglaf and his loyalty towards Beowulf.

    In response to Kobe’s question, I believe that fiction can give readers more valuable lessons. In fiction books, there are hidden lessons and themes that people can learn from. For example, a little girl who reads a story about a kind, caring princess might develop the motive to be kind to others.

    In response to Nathan’s question, regular people can be heroes like Beowulf by doing the right thing. Regular people like policemen and firefighters are like Beowulf except they do these jobs to for the good of the people. Beowulf mainly fought creatures and monsters for the fame and glory, but he still saved people like how firefighters do. Being able to speak gives us an advantage over other creatures because it allows us to share ideas, create new things, and develop our own lifestyle and culture. If people couldn’t speak, I think we would communicate with our hands and our bodies, just like other animals.

    Question: Who is your hero? And how does he or she compare or contrast to Beowulf or Wiglaf?

  8. After watching the following video, I understood that that literature teaches about the different types of cultures and peoples around the world. The more we analyze and read, the better chances that we have of explaining our story to other people. While we read the poem of Beowulf, I can say that did learn quite of number of things of how life was back then and more specifically, how life was in Anglo-Saxon societies. I learned some of the values used by By the Anglo-Saxons which were loyalty, bravery, courage, and perseverance. I believe that reading and analyzing Beowulf did benefit us because due to the complex words and phrases, which make us think more critically and therefore leads us to one day having the urge to telling our own stories for the future generations to read. Some themes or lessons that can be applied to our modern society would be the values that the Anglo-Saxons had. In today’s society, there is a lot of cowardly and dishonest people which is not good because this can potentially take down and weaken a society. I’m not saying that there is not any people that possess these values but the ones that don’t outweigh the people that do. We can see how old literature can help in many ways ranging from communication, storytelling, and values that we can use today as a society.

    Do you think that the Anglo-Saxons and other past groups of people would provide a good format in how to shape or form a society?

  9. Reading and analyzing Beowulf was a wonderful experience for me because I got to learn the thoughts and emotions that were put into this epic thousand of years ago by Christian monks who transcribed this onto paper. I believe that reading Beowulf has benefitted and improved me as a human being as I got to understand the culture of the Anglo-Saxons based on Beowulf. The more I read the epic, the more intrigued I became of how people back then even came up with such an amazing story like Beowulf. I also began to visualize what it might’ve been if I was there as one of Beowulf’s soldiers and how everyone might’ve felt throughout the adventure. As I visualized this I started to feel courageous, powerful, and safe, knowing that Beowulf with his men almost throughout the epic and thought of them as close friends (except for the one soldier he sacrificed to Grendel). As stated in the Crash Course video that by understanding the reading we will have a fuller understanding of lives other than our own, we will be more empathetic, and reading critically and attentively can give us more linguistic tools to share our own story with more precision.

    Additionally, I feel that reading Beowulf improved me as an academic student. Reading epics like Beowulf gave me an insight on different vocabulary and strategies to use to convey a message. Beowulf taught me many things about writing in a very symbolic and boisterous way, putting ideas and emotions to every single word used to make the text as meaningful as possible. It gave me the opportunity to understand, analyze, and process language different from my own. Overall, Beowulf has taught me to be more critical of my writing skills and to not just put filler words as it decreases the meaning and significance of the essential topic.

    The lessons and themes in Beowulf can be applied to modern society by giving us a reminder about how each word and sentence should be significant. Within the epic, Beowulf spoke with vigor and courage that struck to the hearts of those who listened. The epic taught me how to speak with more confidence, meaning, and ambition. What we say should have meaning and saying things such as statements that have no significance or without action proves how our society acts today is very careless.

    To answer Nathaniel’s question:
    We surely can’t be Beowulf as he is immensely powerful and is fictional. However, what we can do is mimic how he spoke and acted. We live in a world where our voice is very impactful onto global society through the use of social media. To speak with vigor and ambition gives us the power to change the world for the better. In the epic, Beowulf inspired many of his disciples by talking about his accomplishments with great audacity and really made an impact on his people which eventually led him to become the king of the Geats. This skill would be immensely beneficial to our world as it is plagued with horrendous acts and violence. We need a voice to end this tragedy and to become todays modern Beowulf.

    My question to you: What would be the impact if a modern Beowulf was alive today? Do you think he’d significantly change or inspire people?

  10. first off, aside from any benefit it may or may not have had on us as actual people, reading Beowulf provided exposure to new or unfamiliar literary devices that have the potential to further our own skill as writers ourselves.
    However, the reading also benefited us in other ways. The epic is set in Northern Europe in about
    AD 600 or 700 ( at least that’s when it was written). Within the poem are contained various details and elements that shed light on the lifestyles and practices of the Saxons and the Danes, which holds historical value and exposes us to other cultures.
    The poem is written about the great hero Beowulf, and through this we can discern the heroic values of the Anglo-Saxon people, and compare them to our own. Themes such as honor or glory can easily be applied to modern society, as they are considered universal themes that can be applied to all people.

    To answer David’s question:
    There are modern Beowulfs alive today. They look something like this:

  11. Reading and analyzing Beowulf benefitted us as students and as people by exposing us to new material we didn’t know. We learned about the Anglo-Saxons and their background. Anglo-Saxons were illiterate and the Christian monks would translate their stories and write it down. Which makes the story sometimes in accurate. The monks might have included some of their own thoughts or beliefs. According to the crash course, we need to read more often because it allows us to learn new styles of writing, new stories, or new words. This benefits us by exposing us to learn new things and help us become better writers. Reading different kinds of books is helpful to knowing how to structure your writing or the flow of it as well. It shows examples of alliteration, simile, metaphor, repetition, imagery, and more. Reading Beowulf, there are themes and lessons that apply to modern society. For example, which counts more in being a hero, sacrifice or success? Beowulf was being a hero for the fame, while Wiglaf want to help save people because it is the right thing to do. In today’s society, people only do things if it benefits them, which is terrible. Obviously you shouldn’t do everything for people. You should see if it is something that person really needs. For instance, if your friend was in need of some money for lunch, you can offer to buy them lunch. However, if they constantly they ask you to borrow your money and don’t get a ride and you haven’t pay it back. Once in awhile they can pay for your food. Friendship can’t be one sided. Both people/all have to put in some effort and try.

    Answering Raquel’s question: Some people read because they enjoy reading. Others like the stories of certain genres. We read to learn more about different things and expand our knowledge of writing skills. As said in the crash course, there are themes and lessons in literature that people can use in the real world.

    Question: How has literature changed over time? How has it affected us?

  12. Reading and analyzing the poem beowulf helped us by like dianaa said with, giving us information about the anglo saxons and how the Christian monks translated their stories. it also gave a look at how other people view heroes and heroic traits. some themes or lessons that can be applied to modern day society is loyalty. must people now days are only out for them selfs and dont have any respect for other people, but if people were more loyal to others and dint lie or betray people, todays society might be a lot better.

    Q. Refering to what John green said in the video, do you think authors are important or not?and should they be idolized as much as they are now?

  13. In class we read the wonderful tale of Beowulf, the tale of the conquering hero as he slayed monster after monster. The question is, how did reading and analyzing Beowulf benefit us as students and as people? Are there any lessons or themes that can be applied to our modern society?

    By reading the epic poem, Beowulf, in depth, it has benefited us as students and as a people by exposing us to a new culture in which the Anglo-Saxons abided by. Through the story, we learned of their values through the protagonist’s acts as well as how he treated his men. An example would be of how the main character, Beowulf, would have a lot of pride when he would boast about his past accomplishments before going into battle with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the deathly dragon. In analyzing these sections of the poem, one can see that the Anglo-Saxons valued being a hero for the fame, rather than doing it in a humble way for the benefit of the public good. Another example that demonstrates the value placed on pride and fame was at the end of the excerpt, when Beowulf said that he wanted to be remembered by having a tower built, so that it could be seen by all those who travel by sea. Being exposed to a new culture does not only make us more knowledgeable, but it also teaches us about the past and the way our precedents lived centuries ago. To cite the crash course video that Suhas provided us, reading Literature, especially poetry, has numerous effects on its audience, such as that it helps readers better understand others’ lives other than your own. Therefore, it will also helps you be more empathetic and gain the more advanced linguistic tools to share your own experiences in an articulate way with others around you. Going back to Beowulf, the poem had many themes and lessons that can be applied to modern society, which is another reason as to why literature can have a positive impact on lives today. Some of the themes could be: What makes a hero?, How have Anglo Saxon values differ from modern society’s values, or how has the impact on the ability to read and write have an effect on the way a story is told. Overall, Beowulf was an interesting poem that exhibited merciless violence, courageous acts of bravery, thrilling scenes, and shocking moments.

    To answer Andrea’s question, my hero is my mother because of everything that she has done to raise my siblings and I to become successful in the future. In contrast to Beowulf, she is like WIglaf, who does the right thing not to gain power or respect, but because she cares about the other person in need. She is humble, and that is a quality that I truly admire. She is, however, like both Beowulf and Wiglaf in the sense that she has had many moments of showing bravery and the willingness to sacrifice her own needs before the others around her.

    Keeping in mind the theme of Literature, my question is: How has the ability to read and write affect our lives today in contrast to the Anglo-Saxons, who had to rely on an oral tradition of passing stories down from generation to generation?

  14. The tale of Beowulf became a story I’ve always read. In my family each child chose a type of book we would and write about. I would choose book of mystery or fantasy. After, years of switching i stuck with the fantasy genre. those types of stories keep me interested until the end.
    In my life i always took the moment to learn form the events that were put in front of me. However, This story never made me think about or edit the way i think. the story was created in the ways of the Axol-Saxons, so with the different mindset they had doesn’t effect me in the slightest.
    Should people write stories just to be enjoyed or with a purpose and why?

  15. Reading an analyzing beowulf benefited us by starting a discussion among us. We read about the hero Beowulf and asked ourselves, does a hero have to be similar to Beowulf? In fact, in our essays we will be discussing what makes a hero. Is it heroic actions such as the slaying a dragon, or something deeper? What we can lear from Beowulf and apply to our society is sacrifice. Modern day heroes all have one thing in common: sacrificing something for the sake of the greater good. beowulf may have been seeking glory and remembrance, but he did ultimately sacrifice his life to help those being tormented by Grendel.

    To answer Stephen’s question, there are many reasons for people to write stores. I do not believe that it can be limited to only one reason. Stories can have a purpose and be enjoyable. Or stories can make us think and reflect on our own lives. Stories are all written for a reason. The reason can be as simple as having fun, or to make the reader question themselves or the world around them. Stories can have a massive impact.

    My question is, why do you think that a story like Beowulf (which is very old and dates back to the Anglo-Saxons) has remained so timeless?

  16. Reading and analyzing Beowulf was a great experience not only was it educational for Literature I also had a mini History lesson as well. I believe those are the main reasons why we read and analyzed Beowulf because of not only the Literature aspect but also the History rich factor. In the video with John Green he said that reading old Literature allows us to “hear the voices of the dead.”

    I believe a theme we can apply to society today is the lesson of loyalty. Through out the poem there were a lot of acts of loyalty for example, when Wiglaf went back and helped his leader Beowulf. It shows what loyalty meant to them and the impact it had, and I believe loyalty is very important in todays society.

    G

  17. I didn’t get to add my question on the previous post however, going back to the video and John Green saying that the authors don’t matter and that the readers do what if authors just wrote stories that they wanted and didn’t care about their audience how would Literature change?

  18. As students, Beowulf exposed us to unfamiliar literary devices as well as allowing us to improve upon our writing as inspired writers. Not only did it help us with writing but gave us insight on the lives and culture of Anglo-Saxons. This piece of writing allows us to improve on certain areas but not in life. An epic hero consists of a person with super hero like powers this causing these writings to be a myth, or is it. I believe these stories won’t help us in the real world to find a job but will help us in academics such as writing and expose us to new forms or writings.

    And to answer Madison’s question: why do you think that a story like Beowulf has remained so timeless? I believe it remained a timeless epic because of the history within the it. It tells us the culture and lives of Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings.

  19. As stated we did read and analyzed the novel Beowulf, which I found pretty interesting. The book had so many details that caught my attention when reading. Suhas asked a very brilliant question because I do think that all the time of why are we reading old literature, but sometimes reading old literature is very beneficial.Also watching the video I did understand or this caught my attention, reading a variety amount of book will help you understand the different cultures and help you with understanding. Reading and analyzing Beowulf did benefit us because of the vocabulary structure and you had to go more indepth with the understanding.

    Having different kinds of audience how is that changing the view of literature?

  20. Literature has been practiced by humans throughout history, and is one of the most important aspects of our society and education. As John Green said in his video, literature works are “markers of civilization.” This means that without literature, we might have never known how our ancestors lived their lives, or what they believe in. It is very important to study past literature because we can’t better the future without learning from the past, and reading helps us do just that.

    Stories are also a way for us to connect with the writer and his literature. Everyone connects to and interprets literature in a different way. Writers usually write so the story can “have a bigger, and better life in our mind.” For instance, when we are reading, we all relate to the story in a certain way, and imagine it come to life in our head in a different way than everyone else does. This is why literature is so special and important.

    Beowulf is a famous piece of literature told by the Anglo Saxons, and written by the Christian monks. reading and analyzing Beowulf has helped us both as students and as people because by reading this famous epic, we were able to interpret literature that was told back in the day in a deeper level. WE were able to connect with the story, and learn how writers wrote their stories, and interpreted literature back in the day. Beowulf also made us aware of how the Anglo- Saxons and the Christian monks communicated. By helping us learn about the past, Beowulf has bettered writers today and inspired some current beliefs and literature. An example of a theme and lesson that can be applied to today’s society from Beowulf would be courage and bravery, which were two of the main characteristics that Beowulf displayed in this tale. Readers were able to learn how brave and courageous a true hero really is, and could apply that the modern day life when they are struggling with something.

    Question: There are many other subjects that we have learned from our past ancestors, such as the way they used tools, the way they did math, sciences, and so on. Out of all of these topics, do you still think that literature would be the most important lesson learned from our ancestors that would benefit us most in our society today? Why or why not?

  21. Like mentioned previously by my fellow classmates Beowulf was a learning not just through it’s literary devices but, also through the culture behind the story and in this case it would be the Anglo-Saxons. Beowulf was a great epic poem because it gave us a different perspective of what we believe an epic hero is and what they believe an epic hero is. The old literature also allowed us to analyze the text and gave us a better understanding of the epic poem.
    In response to Charlene I believe that although Beowulf seemed to only want eternal glory, he still saved many life’s by killing the monsters and fighting to protect the people. To me I would consider Beowulf a hero because regardless of what he wanted to get out of his bravery he still saved many life’s and to me that’s a hero.
    In response to Irene I would consider literature to be one of the most important lessons given to us by our ancestors because, I believe that literature has a lot to do with communication and culture that we use it in our daily life and if it weren’t for the literature they left we might not have been able to communicate the way we do now. When it comes to history literature is very important because we might not have been able to know about our ancestors and it also helps us to understand errors that might have been made in the past to help us make more righteous decisions.

    Question: If the epic poem, “Beowulf” hadn’t existed what might have been different today?

  22. After reading and analyzing Beowulf I learned it was important because it was only of the first written pieces. Reading Beowulf exposes must of us to a new genre of reading and helps strengthen our literature skills by reading and analyzing a written piece of work with a different speaking style than we are used to. Beowulf also shows off the beauty of Anglo-Saxon poetry and how it flows, sounds, and brings up the intensity in the battle parts. The poem is a good way to understand a culture that was once related to us yet so distant and different.
    To answer Madison’s question, I believe it has remained so timeless because people always love reading about a brave hero defeating bad guys and adventure.
    If you were Beowulf and had to fight one of the monsters would you do anything differently? Why or why not?

  23. The analyzation of Beowulf had benefited me because I have a more dense understanding of the term ‘hero’ and how it correlates with modern society. I used to believe that heroes were people who put sacrifice before success but after reading Beowulf I believe there are two sides to the term ‘hero’. A hero is someone who may have success but uses their success in a positive way to benefit the greater good of society. Beowulf is a story of triumph and defeat but it also a story of courage and sacrifice. The reading benefits students because it helps us realize there was a time in history where a hero was built on success whereas modern society has built memorable heroes on the sacrifices. For example, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and many more. This is not to say that we do not idolize modern heroes who are successful because we do. On the other hand, our society has a broader understanding of the meaning ‘hero’ compared to history. The world around us has changed in a drastic way and to look back at the writings in history helps us realize the drastic changes in our thoughts and interpretations of terms and lifestyles. To answer Raquel’s question, “Why do we only analyze and “read” a story, novel, or poem? Because I feel like if there isn’t any enjoyment or any interest, it’ll be pointless and all we will be seeing are words with no purpose across a blank page.” I believe we analyze stories to relate to an author’s perspective on a certain date of time. We cannot travel back in time physically but we can metaphorically travel back in time by reading books written in past dates. As a reader, we can understand the emotions of a particular author and we can imagine the world around them, their thoughts, their sight, and sometimes their touch. It is a different understanding of time travel but it is the most reasonable way to understand the lives of historical figures. I do feel an enjoyment in reading and analyzing stories because as the reader we can take the words and interpret them into our lives. Reading books is often overlooked nowadays but we should not take it for granted when there are so many fantastic books that vary in genre selection. Do not limit yourself to reading books for school but find fulfillment in reading books for fun and critical thinking.

    Question: Do you enjoy reading fiction or nonfiction? Explain why.

  24. By reading beowulf, we have discovered the culture and lifestyle of an Anglo-Saxon without ever researching them on google. We have learned what Anglo-Saxon people believed in their society, and what their morals were. From simply reading Beowulf, we have discovered the thoughts of an Anglo-Saxon, and their society, and this benefits us in numerous ways. Since we already discovered and learned about the Anglo-Saxon society, we can compare and contrast their ideology to ours. As a person, we would learned a another’s life from centuries before ours, and influencing us to become more sympathetic, thus allowing us to spread our stories with more precision. John Green has stated this from the provided video around 5:15-6:33 minute mark. There are indeed some lessons and themes that can be applied to our society such as the concept of a hero. For centuries, heroes has developed into many different forms, from average people feeding the homeless to the ideas of a superpower having powers. The poem, Beowulf, centers around the hero named Beowulf, and his many challenges in proving he is a hero. The themes shows the quality of a hero during that era such as having supernatural strength, boasting, being part of a royal bloodline or a bloodline of importance, staying true to your own beliefs, and taking on challenges for the glory, and fame. Some qualities relates to our modern day heros from the supernatural strength to staying true to your own beliefs; the best representation being Superman or any other hero in the comic book world. The lessons in Beowulf is bravery, heroism, loyalty, and many others that which connects to our modern day world. We value people who are brave to take on anything that is a challenge to their dream, and value heros as role models that we all wish to follow. Loyalty is another modern day value that which the world only see a few, and many times results in some negative aspect of society.

    Answering Charlen’s question: Beowulf was indeed a hero from both the Anglo-Saxon belief and to our own belief. First, Anglo-Saxon viewed Beowulf as a true hero from his countless qualities like his bravery to battle any beast for glory, his loyalty to completing the challenges, and his supernatural strength while being a part of the royal bloodline. This was what Anglo-Saxon believe was a hero and not a murderer and same goes to our modern belief. One may believe that our modern views on heroes focuses on reality rather than fantasy, however, excluding the fame, and supernatural strength, Beowulf is indeed a hero rather than a murderer. Remember how Beowulf defeated Grendel, who was terrorising the kingdome full of innocent people for years. Remember how he defeated Grendel’s mother, saving the kingdom from years of despair and fear. And remember again how he and his soldiers defeated the monstrous dragon that was terrorising his own kingdom when he was an old man. His bravery and loyalty to helping innocent lives defines a hero in todays modern belief.

    Question: Looking at today’s modern take of heroes, and comparing those to ancient heroes such as King Arthur or Beowulf. How much has the definition of a hero change from each culture.

  25. Reading and analyzing Beowulf helped use learn more about literature and how it was used by different cultures, but in this case we learned about how Anglo-Saxons used literature by the Christian monks.There is also the part that we have to take in consideration that we learn new ways that text is written in and what literary devices they used and also the theme of the text. There are lessons/themes in Beowulf that can apply to modern society like how Beowulf as an epic hero saves many people’s lives and in our society there are people like that, for example people help others that are in need when the situation calls for like the recent hurricane destruction and many people in our society don’t usually help and there are people out there that are truly heroes for saving people’s lives that are suffering.
    As John Green said the author doesn’t matter as much as the text/stories does, so my question is was the actually text/stories that affected literature or was it the author that affected literature?

  26. I believe that by studying the story of Beowulf, we have gained much more knowledge of a completely different culture in the past. This newly acquired knowledge has benefited both us as people and as students. Beowulf has given us a glimpse into what a Anglo-Saxon culture was like over a thousand years ago, even if the story was fictional. It has enriched our knowledge of the Anglo-Saxons as students, and also has taught us important morals to help us benefit as people. Quite a few of the themes presented in Beowulf can still be applied to modern times. For example, one of the biggest themes that is prevalent in Beowulf is loyalty. Loyalty is still vital for our society today, because it ensures positivity among people. Another theme that occurs in the story would be hospitality. Hospitality can really apply to today’s current events, because there are situations in this country along with many others concerning refugees and immigrants. Hospitality is important for us because it can improve these current issues and spread positivity just like loyalty can.

    To answer Oscar’s question, I think that it is the text or story that affects literature, no matter how influential or prominent the author was. This is because the author themselves only receives fame from what they write, and therefore the writing itself is what truly shapes literature.

    Question: Do you think that a specific genre is more influential on literature as a whole than other genres are? If so, what is this genre?

  27. I believe that mistakes are prevented by the past. The reason we learn history is to prevent the bad things from happening again. That is why learning about anything old is useful to modern day society. Learning about the Anglo Saxon’s helped me understand the old ways of communication. I though it was very interesting that they communicated by memory only. They didn’t know how to write so it was just them communicating verbally.

    Something that I learned from Beowulf that was very valuable i feel was when Wiglaf showed loyalty to beuwulf when everyone else turned their back in him.

    Do you think mordern day society can use more people like Beowulf?

  28. Literature is important because it gives you the chance to see things from someone else’s point of view. Old literature and vocabulary is good for showing more emotion/authenticity in your writing. Language is also one of the essential methods of knowing, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn old and more complex vocabulary that is seen in Shakespeare’s work.

    Reading Beowulf showed us a different type of reading through not only the story but through the history and culture of the Anglo-Saxons. The story benefited us as students because it taught us about epic poems and how to locate historical and religious influences in the text. We also got to see what the language and vocabulary was like for the Anglo-Saxons. Reading the story benefited us as people because it taught us a little about what makes a hero. The themes that i noticed that are different from our modern society are the fact that our heroes aren’t glorified and praised like Beowulf. Our heroes such as fire fighters, law enforcement, and military are known but never boast about their achievements and never have intentions of making a statement like Beowulf did. They act heroic out of the kindness of their heart and not for fame and recognition.

    In response to Diana’s question: Literature has changed by the way readers perceive the tone and mood. Personal preferences and opinions have also impacted books overtime. Culture has also played a significant role in how books are written and how we as a society behave.

    My question: Why do we hold old literature to such a high educational standard and why do we prioritize it over modern literature?

  29. Beowulf is a poem written around 700AD and by reading this poem written so long ago we as students and as people get to learn about the people who wrote it. It may not seem clear at first, but you get to catch a glimpse of the world in 700AD. To me, getting to see the past in poem form is amazing and we get to learn so much from it. By reading this poem, people get to bring a little bit of this story to modern life. Some of the lessons that I believe can be used in modern life are the lessons taught to us by Wiglaf. The main theme/lesson we can learn from Wiglaf is loyalty. Loyalty means everything to most people and by showing loyalty to people you can gain an insight on their life and if its in a job position you can get more and more out of the job.

    Now to answer Sarah’s question, I believe that there is no genre of literature the is the most influential. I believe this because each person who reads is going through something different and lives a different life than the other people who read.This to me means that someone might be influenced by fiction more so than non-fiction or vise versa. I cannot name one specific genre that has influenced my life because I personally try and read all different genres of books and they all have all influenced me (good and bad) in different ways.

    I grew up disliking english class, not because of the teachers, but because I didn’t understand the topic. I was never the english savvy person to be able to sit and critically analyze the text given to me like some of my classmates. My teachers never were able to successfully show me how to love reading while critically analyzing the text. This is what lead me to really hating english and have the feeling that I was falling behind; I felt dumb. Now this seems to be the case with most teenagers I have talked to today. So this brings me to my question, how can teachers teach us students to critically analyze literature and still enjoy reading the text while also learning to critically analyze it?

  30. The question is, how did reading and analyzing Beowulf benefit us as students and as people? Are there any lessons or themes that can be applied to our modern society?

    As explained in the Crash Course video, literature is a way of expression that transcends time and physical presence. Reading allows for the conveyance of ideas, through language, that are bound in a specific point in time. For example, the epic poem Beowulf is bound to sixth century Europe. Reading this poem provides necessary insight into the culture and way of life that was valued by the Anglo-Saxsons. This benefits students by giving an anthropological look at the people who spawned the culture and customs around them. Having a deeper understanding of the history and nuances of ones own culture helps people in eliminating prejudices and becoming a well rounded, active civic.

    The lessons of loyalty and bravery are important themes of Beowulf that are still held in high regard today. These themes are seen everyday when looking at social activists. These people, regardless of cause, fight for what they believe is right. Loyalty is seen in the way groups routinely have life long members for a cause. The loyalty comes from a genuine belief in good; something that is admired in our society. Bravery is expressed by overcoming all odds, and going against the grain. In the same way that a genuine belief in good expresses loyalty, it also expresses bravery. People who have such strong beliefs are often willing to overcome seemingly impossible odds to achieve their goals. This persistence in the face of adversity is what makes people brave.

    Does literature translated from another language still have the same power to convey ideas as the source text?

  31. Beowulf is an epic poem used to describe a story of a hero. Reading and analyzing Beowulf helps introduce us to different type of literature so in this case, an epic poem. It is a change of pace to what most of us read which are novels. Literature can help better us as readers by expanding our knowledge in different areas such as language convention or vocabulary.
    Question- Can reading help improve us emotionally or sociably?
    Reply- In reply to Karen’s question I feel like the character Beowulf would be so out of place in modern society (due to their character being that of show-offs)

  32. Reading Beowulf helps us as students, by teaching us the ways of the Angelo-Saxons and how Cristian monks were able to translate and write down the stories Angelo-Saxons told. Although, the story of Beowulf is fiction it gives us a little insight, as students, how the characteristics, morals, and ideals were of Angelo-Saxons.
    As students, literature is very important because it allows us to be able to have more creativity. With creativity not only can this cause the creation of great stories and literature, but it can also lead to the development of other great ideas, such as, inventions and ideas.

    In response to Sarah’s question, I do not think that a specific genre can be more influential. I believe it is what you do with the material you are reading, and if you use it for positive purposes.

    My question is, how are modern and old literature similar?

  33. By reading Beowulf it has taught me about the different cultures of writing back in the day. This epic poem taught us the history and culture of the Anglo-Saxons. The story benefitted as student because it taught us the different types of language and vocabulary within that time period. What it has taught me as a person is how some people will do anything to be known.

    To answer Karen’s question: I do believe it would not hurt the world to have more people like Beowulf today. Although all he only did it for himself it ended up safeing a lot of people in the end

    Question: What are some of your guys’ favorite type of literature?

  34. “Beowulf” is an epic tale that tells the story of a hero based on Anglo-Saxon aspects and traditions. He conquered through multiple battles and achieved his goal of being remembered after his death for his bravery and superhuman strength. Reading and analyzing “Beowulf” benefits us as students and as people. By reading and analyzing “Beowulf”, we enhance our understanding of how the Anglo-Saxons communicated and passed on their stories and of English conventions. There are many lessons and themes that can be applied to our modern society. There is a comparison between the heroes we praise today, and the epic heroes from older literature. One of Beowulf’s soldiers, Wiglaf, went to assist Beowulf in his final battle when all his other soldiers chose not to. I think that loyalty will always be a highly acclaimed quality. In Anglo-Saxon culture and modern-day society, those who risk their lives for the greater good have always been viewed as heroic.

    To answer Selena’s question, old and modern literature are similar because both consist of a basis of themes, stories, and languages that may seem different in many ways, but are all quite similar. “Beowulf” and the books of the Harry Potter series are both epics because both pieces of literature include: the heroes possessing courage, supernatural forces, vast settings, and legendary characters.

    What is needed for a piece of literature to be considered “great”?

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