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Middle Ages
Beowulf



Beowulf
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.83

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    flame-spitting, scribes, medieval, goblet, epic, gruesome, riches, retelling, rips, assistance, defeat, writing, level, wounded, celebration, nephew
     content words:    Old English


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Beowulf
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     On level 1, you have to defeat a giant, gruesome, swamp monster. It's not so easy, because the swamp monster has magical powers. When you do beat that level, you go on to level 2 where you fight a really, really angry monster in its home in the swamp. When you finally beat that level, you win honor and great rewards. Then, you go on to the final level where you fight a flame-spitting dragon. After you defeat the dragon, the game is finished.
 
2     That is the story of Beowulf - not a modern video game, but a medieval epic poem. Beowulf was put into writing in the eleventh century, but it was probably told orally hundreds of years earlier. Minstrels may have been telling and retelling the tale of the hero Beowulf as early as 800 AD.
 
3     Beowulf was one of the first poems written in the English language. Scribes wrote Beowulf in what we now call Old English, the earliest version of our English language. Old English was so different from modern English, that if you saw a copy of Beowulf, it would look like something in a foreign language. At 3,000 lines, Beowulf may be one of the longest English poems too!
 
4     The setting of Beowulf is in what are now called Sweden and Denmark. The early settlers of England had come from northern lands very near to the setting of Beowulf, so the poem is a look back at heroic deeds in their past. The action takes place in about the year 600 AD.
 
5     The characters include Beowulf - the hero from Sweden, Hrothgar - the King of Denmark, and Wiglaf - the loyal nephew of Beowulf. Their three antagonists are Grendel - a swamp monster, Grendel's mother - also a swamp monster, and a dragon.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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