Layer A: Beowulf Narrative Essay Assignment



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Layer A: Beowulf Narrative Essay Assignment
Directions: Your final assessment for this unit will be in the form of a narrative essay. Common Core defines narratives the following way: “Narratives develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences”. You will have a choice as to which type of narrative you can write, either an original Heroic Epic OR a re-written scene from Beowulf. This is a writing grade.
Choice #1: An Original Epic
The Hero: Create an original hero. You can be the hero, you can make someone into a hero, or you can make one up. Your hero must possess the traits of a traditional epic hero as well as the Anglo Saxon virtues.
The Cultural Setting: You should base your epic on a religious, spiritual, or philosophical view and develop characters that develop that worldview. Just as Beowulf represents a God-like character and Grendel represents a Satanic one, your characters must represent their cultural or spiritual background. You can use your own religion or philosophy of life but either way you must make sure that it is present throughout and explained in a series of footnotes (minimum of 5).
Form: You do not have to write in the form of a poem for this assignment however it is preferred. You must divide your story into sections (i.e. Prologue + 3 parts) and provide subtitles for each (“The Hero Arrives” or “The Fight with Grendel”). Each section should be a minimum of 50 lines/350 words. You must also include at least 3 of each of the following: alliteration, kenning & assonance (you can work in examples from the original text or create your own).
Cover Page: Your story must also include a cover page with a title, the author and an illustration.

Choice #2: Beowulf Rewrite


This assignment requires you to creatively rewrite either Beowulf’s encounter with Grendel, Grendel’s Mother or the dragon from the perspective of the appropriate villain.
Character/Perspective:

Choose one of the villains above and brainstorm their character traits. You may want to use notes/critical sources* which explain their mythological origin. Because we are told the story from their perspective you should make your readers feel empathy towards your chosen villain. In other words, the readers should end up feeling that Beowulf is the villain in the particular situation. Likewise, you should explore the villains’ motives and create reasons for why they are really not the guilty parties or evildoers.



Form:

You must use real situations from the actual text of Beowulf, although they may be exaggerated or slightly distorted to fit the perspective of your character. Your story must be written in the first person perspective of Grendel, Grendel’s Mother or the Dragon (uses “I”). Your essay must be four pages long, double-spaced with 1” margins. You must also include at least 3 of each of the following: alliteration, kenning & assonance (you can work in examples from the original text or create your own). You must also include footnotes to explain any philosophical, spiritual, or religious allusions (minimum of 5).



Cover Page: Your story must also include a cover page with a title, the author and an illustration.

*Most of your essay should be your own work, however any outside research should be cited in an MLA formatted Works Cited Page.



Grading: Assignments will be graded on their overall content and completion of the requirements above. I will assess your essays based on the standards presented in the Common Core Narrative writing rubric : http://www.schoolimprovement.com/docs/Common%20Core%20Rubrics_Gr9-10.pdf


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