Approaches to Teaching Beowulf - Lord of the Rings and Role Playing

  • PDF
  • Print
  • E-mail
Article Index
Approaches to Teaching Beowulf
All Pages
The Lord of the Rings and the elements of a role playing game.

Beowulf is comprised of 3 fights.  There are three kinds of forces both in the poem and in most role playing games.  In Beowulf, those forces are subdivided into Christian forces and pagan forces.  Superhuman forces are exactly what they sound like—in the poem, they are God, evil, and fate.  In games, the superhuman force is fate or luck or the roll of the dice.  Human forces are, in the poem, Beowulf and his men.  In gaming, it is the human player.  Material forces are the things used by the human force or the goals of the human force: ships, horses, weapons, treasure.

With those forces in mind, consider the forces in Beowulf.


Superhuman Forces

Human Forces

Material Forces



God, evil, wyrd

Beowulf alone

None—Beowulf fights for honor and uses his bare hands.

Beowulf trusts in God/fate and represents good in the fight against evil.

Grendel’s mother

Grendel’s mother, less God

Beowulf and fellow thanes but Beowulf fights alone.

Hrothgar promises Beowulf treasure to kill Grendel’s mother and Beowulf uses a sword and dagger.

Beowulf fights for money and uses weapons.  God is less apparent in this fight.



Beowulf is originally accompanied by 12 followers, but they abandon him save one.

Beowulf fights to keep treasure and protect his people.  He wants the treasure made into a mound so he can watch it as he dies.  Uses a sword.

Virtually no God in this fight, and Beowulf is fighting to defend a nation of “Goblet stealers.”

One theme can be extracted by examining how the forces change throughout the three fights.  Beowulf originally trusts in God, uses no material forces(Fortitudo), and fights for glory.  In the second fight, there are fewer superhuman forces, more material forces, and more human forces.  In the third fight, Beowulf relies more on wisdom (Sapientia), uses more material forces, fewer superhuman forces, and needs a followed to help him slay the dragon.

Notice also that there is more empathy for the monsters as the fights progress.  Grendel’s motivation for attacking Hrothgar’s men is pure evil.  In the second fight we understand Grendel’s mother’s avenging her son’s death.  In the third fight, the dragon is simply doing his job, protecting the treasure, when one of Beowulf’s people steals a goblet from him.


“Man should not trust in things of this world" for they (like Beowulf's sword) will fail him.

All men die.  The wages of heroism are death.  Men should trust in God rather than in things, because the trust Beowulf places in weapons rather than in God fails him.

Ask students to choose a role playing game and to examine the superhuman, human, and material forces in them.



0 #387 eyelashes 2018-05-20 14:17
Hi are using Wordpress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get
started and create my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge
to make yoir own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

my webpage eyelashes:
0 #386 Eye Lashes 2018-05-20 09:36
Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I'd figured
I'd ask. Would you be interested in trading links orr maybe guest writing a blog article
or vice-versa? My website discusses a lot of thhe same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you're interested feel free to shoot me an email.
I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog
byy thhe way!

Here is my homepage: Eye Lashes:
0 #385 eyelashes growth 2018-05-20 08:48
I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information. Thiss adticle has really peaked my
interest. I wijll take a note of your blog annd keep
checking foor new details about oncfe a week. I opted inn for your RSS feed as well.

My web site eyelashes
0 #384 Antwan 2018-05-20 06:54
Thanks a lot for giving everyone remarkably
spectacular chance to check tips from here. It really is very
ideal and also stuffed with a good time for me personally and my office colleagues to search your Site
Audits on YouTube (Antwan: nearly thrice per week
to read through the latest items you have. And indeed, we're actually amazed for the outstanding guidelines served by you.
Selected 3 points in this article are without a doubt the most efficient I've ever had.
0 #383 long eyelashes 2018-05-20 06:04
Right away I am going to do my breakfast,
afterward having my breakfast coming yet gain to read further news.

My blog - long eyelashes:
0 #382 Eyelashes Growth 2018-05-20 05:51
This post presents clsar idea in suplort of the new visitors of blogging, that in fadt how to ddo running a

Revieww my web site - Eyelashes Growth:
0 #381 Eyelashes growth 2018-05-20 05:38
Jusst wish to say your artichle iss as amazing. The clearness on your submit iis
just excellent and i could assume you are an expert in this subject.

Fine with your permission allow me to take hold of
your RSS feed to stay up to date with approaching post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please carry
on tthe gratifying work.

Take a look at my weblog; Eyelashes growth:
0 #380 Eyelashes 2018-05-20 05:27
Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological globe the whole thing is presented on net?

Also visit mmy web site :: Eyelashes:
0 #379 Eyelashes 2018-05-20 05:01
Hi there, I foiund your site via Google at the same time as searching for a similar
subject, your webb site got here up, it appears great.

I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hi there, simply beczme aleert to your blog thru Google, and found that it's really informative.
I'm going too be careful for brussels. I'll appreciate in the event you continue this in future.
Numerous other people shall be benefited oout of your writing.

My web page - Eyelashes:
0 #378 Eyelashes Ticker 2018-05-20 02:24
Veery rapidly this web site will be famous among all blogging users, due to it's fastidious posts

My page ... Eyelashes Ticker:
0 #377 eyelashes Growth 2018-05-20 00:24
Nice post. I used tto bbe checking continuously this weblog and I am
inspired! Extremely helpful inormation specifically the final phase
:) I handle such ifo a lot. I was looking for this certain info forr a very lengthy time.
Thanks and best of luck.

Also visit my webpage ... eyelashes Growth:
0 #376 long eyelashes 2018-05-19 22:57
It's actually a great and useful piece of info.
Iamm glad that you simply shared this useful informtion with us.
Please keep uus informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

My web page: long eyelashes:
0 #375 potty training 2018-05-19 16:10
as they're both connected to e-book stores board exam
right: together with other software anyone need this hp0-j36 practice exam questions: i personally think that Iseb
fcgit information: http://xn----7sbxknpl.xn--p1ai/user/WolfgangEspinosa/ will possibly not work a
different storage containers: if
you are clueless about fat thing Day

Visit my weblog; potty training:
0 #374 eyelashes Growth 2018-05-19 12:04
I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog's artiles or reviews daily along with a cup of

Alsso visit my blog post - eyelashes Growth:
0 #373 Eye Lashes 2018-05-19 12:02
It's amazing designed for mme to have a site, which is valuable for my know-how.
thanks admin

My page Eye Lashes:
0 #372 Grow Faster 2018-05-19 11:25
I like the helpful information yoou provide to your articles.
I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at agwin here regularly.

I am quite sure I'll be told many new stuf proper
right here! Bestt of luck for the next!

My weblog ... Grow Faster:
0 #371 eyelashes ticker 2018-05-19 06:35
Verry good post. I certainly love this site.
Keep it up!

Feel free to surf to my web site: eyelashes ticker:
0 #370 Eyelashes Ticker 2018-05-19 06:22
Wow, this paragraph is good, my sister is analyzing these inds
of things, therefore I am going too let know her.

My web-site: Eyelashes Ticker:
0 #369 Long Eyelashes 2018-05-18 16:10
Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe
this site needs ffar more attention. I'll probably bbe returning to read through
more, thanks for thhe information!

Feel free to surf to my web page: Long Eyelashes:
0 #368 Eyelashes Growth 2018-05-18 15:24
This excellent website certainly has alll the information and facts I nweded concerning this subject and didn't know who too ask.

My web-site: Eyelashes Growth:
0 #367 Eyelashes Growth 2018-05-18 14:13
Simply want to say your artgicle iis as astounding.

The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i
can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well wiuth your permission let mme to grab
your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.

Thanks a million and pleaqse continue the enjoyable work.

Here is my web blog: Eyelashes Growth:
0 #366 Eyelashes Ticker 2018-05-18 11:16
Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll
just book mark this blog.

Also visit my web page:Eyelashes Ticker:
0 #365 guong trang tri 2018-05-18 10:33
Magnificent beat ! I wish tо apprentice whiⅼe you amend your web site,
һow could і subscribe fⲟr ɑ blog website?

Thе account aided me ɑ acceptable deal. Ӏ һad
been tiny bit acquainted of tһis yߋur broadcast ⲣrovided bright ⅽlear idea
0 #364 eyelashes Ticker 2018-05-18 10:18
I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post wwas great.

I ddo not know who you are but certainly you are goiong
to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

Also visit mmy webpage; eyelashes Ticker:
0 #363 sextoy hcm 2018-05-18 08:14
Wohh jսst what І wɑs searching for, thanks for putting uр.
0 #362 Eyelashes growth 2018-05-18 05:49
Nice post. I was cyecking continuously this blog and I
am impressed! Extremely useful info particularpy the last part
:) I care for such information a lot. I was looking foor this certain information for a very long time.

Thank you and best of luck.

My page Eyelashes growth:

Add comment

Security code

A Class Act--Teaching for Smarties


  • Hi are using Wordpress for your blog platform? I'm...
  • I have checked your website and i've found some du...
  • I am really loving tthe theme/design oof your blog...
  • I have checked your site and i have found some dup...
  • Good answers in return of this issue with real arg...