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This study sheet will help you to write a rough draft of the writing assignment that you will revise later on. Answer the following questions as you work through your study to build a strong and successful essay.

Your Assignment

In this activity, you’ll write a narrative from the point of view of Grendel. You’ll make decisions about structure and development to enhance overall meaning. Then, you’ll present your story to the class. You should stick to the facts in the original story — that Beowulf came from across the sea to fight Grendel, that Hrothgar was a king, etc. Other than those facts, though, you can make up whatever you like about the characters and setting. For example, you can decide that Beowulf really dislikes Hrothgar; he’s just doing what his culture feels is the right thing to do. Or you can give Grendel a soft side: maybe he can’t help it that he has this insatiable craving for humans? Be creative!

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Write a short answer to each question.

1. Who or what is Grendel? What motivates him? What does he fear? What does he love? What does he need? What would he do to get what he wants? What is his fatal flaw (what ultimately destroys him)? What is his greatest strength (what ultimately saves him)?

2. Where is Grendel? Where does he go? What makes him go? Will he return? What will he be when he returns? What do his origins and destinations have to do with his character?

3. Come up with a complication for your protagonist and antagonist’s relationship that links the two somehow.

4. However you characterize Grendel, he needs a conflict: something or someone to struggle with, just like Beowulf needed the conflict with Grendel to become a character. What is the conflict that will define your character? How do you see this struggle fitting with Grendel’s character?

5. What unexpected twist could you add to the resolution of Grendel’s conflict so that more is revealed about his character?

6. Fill in the table below with brief notes about what you plan to do in the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion of your story

ExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling ActionConclusion

Your Narrative

7. Write an exposition to your narrative. It should be at least one paragraph long.

8. Write the rising action of your narrative. It should be at least one paragraph long.

9. Write the climax of your narrative. It should be at least one paragraph long.

10. Write the falling action of your narrative. It should be at least one paragraph long.

11. Write the conclusion of your narrative. It should be one paragraph long.

12. Which of the following do you think you need to improve to make your reading aloud better?

  • Speed (reading too fast or too slowly)
  • Intonation (varying your pitch, inflection, and speech pattern for different characters and action)
  • Volume (reading too loudly or too softly)
  • Pausing for effect (at commas, periods, and new paragraphs)
  • Paying attention to audience reaction
  • Other:
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