Characteristics of a Hero |
Choose one of the following writing prompts. Create a piece of
writing one to two pages in length, in 11 or 12-point type, single
spaced. Your draft is due Monday, 12/10. We will revise and
edit in class, and the final will be due Wednesday, 12/12.
- Write the letter of thanks that King Hrothgar or his wife
might have sent to Beowulf after his departure form Denmark.
- Write obituaries for Grendel, Grendel's mother, the
fire-breathing dragon, and Beowulf. Include highlights of each
character's life and achievements. Look in a newspaper for
- Write a stream-of-consciousness narrative in the voice of an
unnamed warrior, Dane or Geat, as he heard Beowulf battling
Grendel, waited by the lake as Beowulf fought Grendel's mother, or
fled the scene of Beowulf's battle with the dragon.
- Write a parody of Beowulf (like Sagoff's) in which you imitate
the poetic style of the original but place the hero in a more
mundane contemporary situation. For example, you might have
Beowulf conquer a "monstrous" player on an opposing football team
or battle someone whose breath is so bad that he or she seems like
a fire-breathing dragon.
- Write a short story retelling the first two sections of
Beowulf from the point of view of Grendel's mother, or the last
section from the point of view of Wiglaf or the dragon. Remember
to use first-person point of view like John Gardner does in
- Write a news report on the death of Grendel. Be sure to tell
who, what, where, when, how, and, if possible, why. Include
remarks by eyewitnesses and perhaps by Beowulf himself.
- your choice
of a Hero from Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth
(1988, New York: Doubleday) | Top
- A hero gives his or her life to something bigger than
him/herself, to some higher end.
- A hero performs a courageous act, either physical or
- A hero is usually someone from whom something has been taken
or who feels there's something lacking in the normal experience
available, or permitted, to members of his society.
- A hero embarks on a series of adventures to recover what is
lost or to discover some life-giving information.
- The hero usually moves out of the known, conventional safety
of his own life to undertake the journey.
- The hero undergoes trials and tests to see if he has the
courage, the knowledge and the capacity to survive.
- A hero has to achieve something.
- A hero's journey usually consists of a departure, a
fulfillment, and a return.
Check out these
writing tools to help you create a powerful piece. |
Brainstorm - shows how different tools facilitate the
brainstorming process. http://www.writedesignonline.com/organizers/brainstorm.html
Sense Web - starts the brainstorming process for creating
show, not tell senses. http://www.writedesignonline.com/assignments/senseweb.html
Design Expectations - standards of design for all projects.
How to Use Quotes - humm, what you do think, it's about
using quotes in text. - http://www.writedesignonline.com/assignments/usingquotes.html
Re-vision - another check list, this time intended to
correct your vision. - http://www.writedesignonline.com/assignments/re-vision.html
Works Cited and Writing Style Guides - shows an example of
a Works Cited listing and provides links to several writing style
guides such as MLA and APA. - http://www.writedesignonline.com/workcited.html
Map | Grade
9 2001-02 Syllabus | Quotes
Organizers | Rules
of Thumb | On-Line
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