James’ teacher read the beginning of Beowulf to him this week and then his speech therapist continued the lesson with a discussion of early Medieval literature. Here are some of his thoughts on Beowulf and then a fable of his own in the tradition of medieval fables.
James, before we get started, I heard that you really enjoyed Beowulf! I am so glad to hear that. What did you like about it? I LIKE BEOWULF BECAUSE IT IS A VERY INTERESTING BOOK AND HAS A LOT OF ACTION. How about the language – it is in verse and Old English, are you having any trouble understanding it? IT TAKES A WHILE TO GET USED TO, BUT THEN IT IS EASY.
The most popular medieval works were the fabliaux, or fables. These humorous short stories, penned by authors from varying classes, enjoyed an immense audience. While most of these stories developed from earlier folk tales, social commentary was woven into the fable. Most fables were quite humorous and often used the humor to teach a lesson or make a point. Recurring characters were visible in everyday life-merchants, students, husbands, wives, lords and peasants.
Tell me something about fables. FABLES ARE HUMOROUS AND EXPRESS SOCIAL COMMENTARY.
Now let’s do some creative writing. Make up a fable that includes social commentary about life today.
THERE ONCE WAS A BOY WHO COULD NOT TALK. EVERYONE THOUGHT HE WAS NOT CAPABLE OF LEARNING AND COMMUNICATING. THERE WAS A WICKED WITCH NAMED ______ WHO KEPT THE BOY LOCKED IN A TOWER OF IGNORANCE. A BEAUTIFUL QUEEN NAMED ELIZABETH RESCUED THE BOY FROM THE TOWER AND TAUGHT HIM HOW TO TALK WITHOUT SPEAKING. THE BOY SHOWED THE WORLD THAT YOU DONT HAVE TO TALK TO BE SMART. THE BOY AND THE QUEEN WORKED TO DESTROY ALL OTHER TOWERS OF IGNORANCE. THEY WERE THE MOST LOVED PEOPLE IN THE LAND. THE END.