Beowulf

Beowulf

Beowulf is a poem that I had to read when I was in 9th grade. I have it on my daughter’s Literature schedule for next year, when she will be in 8th grade. The benefits of homeschooling are being able to decide when your child is ready to read a classic.

Although the poet who wrote Beowulf is anonymous, it is said to have been written between the 8th and 11th century. The story is about a man by the name of Beowulf, who is from southern Sweden.

Beowulf is a hero from the town of Geats who is called upon to defeat the horrible monster Grendel. Grendel hates the cheerful noises that come from King Hrothgar’s mead-hall in Denmark. Beowulf travels to Denmark with a group of his warrior friends.

King Hrothgar holds a feast for Beowulf. A jealous man by the name of Unferth antagonizes Beowulf stating that he isn’t capable of defeating the horrendous beast Grendel. Unferth must eat his words when Grendel shows up at the mead-hall causing much havoc. Beowulf seems to easily defeat Grendel, making him even more popular in the King’s eyes.

That isn’t the end of the story, however, as Grendel had a mother that was not so fond of finding her son dead. Beowulf must again prepare for battle in order to save the people of Denmark.

Although there is much violence in the poem Beowulf, I think it is a must-read for children in the older grades. Boys who love stories about warrior heroes will especially be drawn to this story. As a homeschooling mom, I plan on incorporating daily lesson plans as my daughter reads through this story.