Sunday, January 30, 2011

Prompts for Thursday's Blog

Reminders:  You should post your Thursday blog entries by themselves - not as comments to this thread.  You should also made sure they are legibly formatted, with a line between each paragraph.  If you get it wrong the first time, you can edit it.  As before, I will hopefully add a third option after class - but this is a goal, not a promise.

Option 1:  Write a diary entry or letter from the point of view of a "minor" character in Beowulf - anyone other than Hrothgar or Beowulf himself would be fine.  Write the letter, diary, etc. about anything you want (expanding on an incident in the poem, or creating a new one), but do it in a way which helps us understand the role of the character in the poem.  Your goal is to help us understand Beowulf, and you should be citing Beowulf for evidence, but you can flesh out your character to help that goal.  If you are adding events, make clear why you see them as consisent with existing events in the poem.

Option 2:    Skim through the poem looking for the elements of advice, or wisdom, within it.  Some is offered by the narrator; some is offered by Hrothgar.  Pick some theme (represented by one or multiple quotes), and answer the question:  is this piece (or group) of advice supposed to make us admire Beowulf (or Hrothgar) or is it supposed to make us skeptical of Beowulf (or Hrothgar)?

Option 3(Added Wednesday)  Go to the library, either physically or virtually.  You need to find a scholarly article on Beowulf, which *must* be from the Pitt library.  I strongly suggest that you use the MLA Database.  I'm going to give you a link - you may need to log in if you're off campus, and the link may be different on campus, etc.  If you have trouble, you can ask me for help, but it might be easier to deal with a librarian - it's up to you.


Once you have picked and read an article, you need to do two things.

1)  Summarize one of its arguments, making use of citations and possibly quotes from it.
2)  Apply it to our class discussion - either extend or critique something we/I had to say about the poem, using this scholarly article.

FOR THIS OPTION ONLY, you may take until 4 p.m. on Saturday (that deadline is firm).  If you're doing so, just email me to let me know IN ADVANCE.

Also, you must cite your article, using whatever citation method you know.  If you don't know any, google either the MLA method of citation, or the Chicago style, and use one or the other.

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