© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Unknown

Current Events & Pop Culture

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching Beowulf Teacher Pass

Teaching Beowulf Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Current Events & Pop Culture

Beowulf: The Epic in Performance

Website for Benjamin Bagby and his famous oral performance of Beowulf. Bagby travels all over the world singing a portion of the poem from memory with the minimal accompaniment of a lyre, much as an Anglo-Saxon scop would have done. The site has helpful background on the text, a personal account of how Bagby came to this performance of the poem, and a video clip of his moving performance of lines 665–853 ("Grendel and Beowulf"). His performance clearly emphasizes the oral nature of the poem, and brings to life its proper social context; a communal event in which everyone participates emotionally in the life of the poem's characters.


"The sound-image for this performance popped into my head a few months later, as I was driving through rural Arkansas one blustery March evening; perhaps my subconscious was prodded by the omnipresent local images of razorback hogs, kin to the wild boar, those symbols of fearlessness so dear to the Anglo-Saxons. An instrument was ordered and built, and the project slowly took musical shape.."