English II - Type II EOY Growth Assessment
Today you will analyze an excerpt from a piece of classical literature, Beowulf by Anonymous, and an excerpt from a modern piece of literature, Grendel by John Gardner. As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer questions about how Gardner draws on and transforms Beowulf, so you can write a literary analysis essay.

from Beowulf:

Out from the marsh, from the foot of misty
Hills and bogs, bearing God’s hatred
Grendel came, hoping to kill
Anyone he could trap on this trip to high Herot.
He moved quickly through the cloudy night, 5
Up from his swampland, sliding silently
Toward that gold-shining hall. He had visited Hrothgar’s
Home before, knew the way --
But never, before nor after that night,
Found Herot defended so firmly, his reception 10
So harsh. He journeyed, forever joyless,
Straight to the door, then snapped it open,
Tore its iron fasteners with a touch
And rushed angrily over the threshold.
He strode quickly across the inlaid 15
Floor, snarling and fierce: his eyes
Gleamed in the darkness, burned with a gruesome
Light. Then he stopped, seeing the hall
Crowded with sleeping warriors, stuffed
With rows of young soldiers resting together. 20
And his heart laughed, he relished the sight,
Intended to tear the life from those bodies
By morning; the monster’s mind was hot
With the thought of food and the feasting his belly
Would soon know. But fate, that night, intended 25
Grendel to gnaw the broken bones
Of his last human supper. Human
Eyes were watching his evil steps,
Waiting to see his swift hard claws.
Grendel snatched at the first Geat 30
He came to, ripped him apart, cut
His body to bits with powerful jaws,
Drank the blood from his veins and bolted
Him down, hands and feet; death
And Grendel’s great teeth came together, 35
Snapping life shut. Then he stepped to another
Still body, clutched at Beowulf with his claws,
Grasped at a strong-hearted wakeful sleeper
-- And was instantly seized himself, claws
Bent back as Beowulf leaned up on one arm. 40
That shepherd of evil, guardian of crime,
Knew at once that nowhere on earth
Had he met a man whose hands were harder;
His mind was flooded with fear -- but nothing
Could take his talons and himself from that tight 45
Hard grip. Grendel’s one thought was to run
From Beowulf, flee back to his marsh and hide there:
This was a different Herot than the hall he had emptied.
But Higlac’s follower remembered his final
Boast and, standing erect, stopped 50
The monster’s flight, fastened those claws
In his fists till they cracked, clutched Grendel
Closer. The infamous killer fought
For his freedom, wanting no flesh but retreat,
Desiring nothing but escape; his claws 55
Had been caught, he was trapped. That trip to Herot.
Was miserable journey for the writhing monster!
The high hall rang, its roof boards swayed,
And Danes shook with terror. Down
The aisles the battle swept, angry 60
And wild. Herot trembled, wonderfully
Built to withstand the blows, the struggling
Great bodies beating at its beautiful walls;
Shaped and fastened with iron, inside
And out, artfully worked, the building 65
Stood firm. Its benches rattled, fell
To the floor, gold-covered boards grating
As Grendel and Beowulf battled across them.
Hrothgar’s wise men had fashioned Herot
To stand forever; only fire, 70
They had planned, could shatter what such skill had put
Together, swallow in hot flames such splendor
Of ivory and iron and wood. Suddenly
The sounds changed, the Danes started
In new terror, cowering in their beds as the terrible 75
Screams of the Almighty’s enemy sang
In the darkness, the horrible shrieks of pain
And defeat, the tears torn out of Grendel’s
Taut throat, hell’s captive caught in the arms
Of him who of all the men on earth 80
Was the strongest.
That mighty protector of men
Meant to hold the monster till its life
Leaped out, knowing the fiend was no use
To anyone in Denmark. All of Beowulf’s
Band had jumped from their beds, ancestral 5
Swords raised and ready, determined
To protect their prince if they could. Their courage
Was great but all wasted: they could hack at Grendel
From every side, trying to open
A path for his evil soul, but their points 10
Could not hurt him, the sharpest and hardest iron
Could not scratch at his skin, for that sin-stained demon
Had bewitched all men’s weapons, laid spells
That blunted every mortal man’s blade.
And yet his time had come, his days 15
Were over, his death near; down
To hell he would go, swept groaning and helpless
To the waiting hands of still worse fiends.
Now he discovered -- once the afflictor
Of men, tormentor of their days -- what it meant 20
To feud with Almighty God: Grendel
Saw that his strength was deserting him, his claws
Bound fast, Higlac’s brave follower tearing at
His hands. The monster’s hatred rose higher,
But his power had gone. He twisted in pain, 25
And the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder
Snapped, muscle and bone split
And broke. The battle was over, Beowulf
Had been granted new glory: Grendel escaped,
But wounded as he was could flee to his den, 30
His miserable hole at the bottom of the marsh,
Only to die, to wait for the end
Of all his days. And after that bloody
Combat the Danes laughed with delight.
He who had come to them from across the sea, 35
Bold and strong-minded, had driven affliction
Off, purged Herot clean. he was happy,
Now, with that night’s fierce work; the Danes
had been served as he’d boasted he’d serve them; Beowulf,
A prince of the Geats, had killed Grendel, 40
Ended the grief, the sorrow, the suffering
Forced on Hrothgar’s helpless people
By a bloodthirsty fiend. No Dane doubted
the victory, for the proof, hanging high
From the rafters where Beowulf had hung it, was the monster’s 45
Arm, claw and shoulder and all.

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Question 1 RL.9-10.2 (Standard)
Which of the following best describes how the author structures lines 30-65 to reveal the theme of the text?
1 point
Question 2 RL.9-10.1 (Expanded)
Which quotation from the poem best supports your answer to Question 1?
1 point
Question 3 RL.9-10.3 (Standard)
In Beowulf, what details does the poet show about the character of Grendel between lines 11 and 25?
1 point
Question 4 RL.9-10.1 (Expanded)
Which quotation from the poem best supports the answer to Question 3?
1 point
Question 5 RL.9-10.4 (Basic)
In line 21 of the poem, what does the verb “relishing” reveal about the character of Grendel at that point in the poem?
1 point
Question 6 RL9-10.4 (Standard)
Which of the following situations would be an example of hubris?
1 point
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