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AS Literature

Anglo-Saxon Literature

"Venerable" means old, wise, respected
Venerable Bede today is Saint Bede
Bede's parents dropped him off at the monastery at age 7
To explain why he never saw his family again, Bede concocted a story that his parents were killed by Vikings
Bede spoke/wrote fluently 8 languages
Bede was known as the greatest scholar of his age
Bede popularized the usage of BC/AD historical dating
Today, BC/AD dating is often referred to as BCE/CE
Bede also encouraged this practice when researching a topic: doublechecking your sources
The first writer in English we know by name is Caedmon
Caedmon was a laybrother, later a monk, at a monastery
Caedmon couldn't really sing
When it came his turn to entertain like a scop, Caedmon would run away
One time Caedmon, rather than sing, escaped to a stable
Why did Bede use the word 'stable' instead of 'barn'? To indicate a miracle was to occur
In the stable, Caedmon dreamed or had a vision of a person who told him to sing
Caedmon told his vision he couldn't sing
After much argument, Caedmon discovered he could sing
He demonstrated it to the monks who, to ensure it was true, gave him this test: to make a song about a Bible verse
Caedmon used his gift of singing to glorify God
Anglo-Saxons saw all talents as gifts from God
Anglo-Saxons saw Caedmon's death as a gift from God due to a holy life
Bede's book History of the English Church and People
Bede's book was translated for us to read from the Latin
"The Seafarer" was translated for us to read from the Anglo-Saxon
How old is "The Seafarer"? 1200 years old +
Who wrote "The Seafarer"? Unknown--part of the oral tradition
What are the 3 reasons "The Seafarer" was kept for over a millenium? people don't change, although fashions do; society needs the caution of the elderly & the push of the young to flourish; generations still have trouble communicating
A direct comparison NOT using "like," "as," or "than" metaphor
A comparison using "like," "as," or "than" simile
Rhythm meter
4 beats in a line Tetrameter, the Anglo-Saxon rhythm
Helped scops memorize material meter and alliteration
He performed songs, jokes, stories after dinner a scop
repeating consonant sounds in lines of poetry alliteration
modern definition of a caesura dramatic pause, emphasizing whatever follows
giving human characteristics to nonhumans personification
a word that, when pronounced, makes the sound it names onomatopoeia
a breathing space in a line of poetry caesura
how many caesuras did the Anglo-Saxons have in a line of poetry? 2
We've kept the negative form of a word, but the positive form has been dropped lost positive
a metaphoric renaming of something, to emphasize it or make it seem more important kenning
an important part of AS life the sea
how many voices in "The Seafarer"? 2--the old sailor and the young one
What is a seafarer? sailor
Who wrote BEOWULF? Unknown author--part of oral tradition
What was BEOWULF's setting? 6th century Scandinavia
What is an epic? A long narrative told in lofty language about a central hero saving nations, with good v. evil as its theme, and supernatural elements
The #1 Anglo-Saxon classic BEOWULF
BEOWULF is this kind of poem-- a pagan story with Christian elements added by the monks who wrote it down
Beowulf is the ideal Anglo-Saxon hero
Hrothgar is the Danish/Jutish king
Herot is the mead hall
English Literature is said to begin with this--and so, in a way, does American literature BEOWULF
Wealtheow & the water hag the only 2 women in BEOWULF
Beowulf's tribe Geats (Swedes)
What is ironic about BEOWULF? Doesn't mention Britain, and isn't Anglo-Saxon at all, but Jutish
wine-proud, cold seed, ring-giver, whale road, swan road, wound dew & wave rider are all examples of kennings
Written exaggeration hyperbole
immediate renaming of a noun or pronoun (offset by commas) appositives
jealous of the parties Grendel's motivation
How many years did Grendel attack Herot? 12
How many men did he take per night? 30
BEOWULF, "Seafarer," Venerable Bede and the story of Caedmon, "The Wanderer" you must know the plot and content of all these
This short technique was used by the scops to remind listeners of information already told in the story--and to avoid interruptions appositive
This summarizes "our story thus far"--to help avoid interruptions as the scop tells the tale reiteration
The elders of Beowulf's tribe checked the omens, & told him to go
All Anglo-Saxon heroes constantly tested themselves with new challenges
How many men did Beowulf take with him? 14
"If you can do it, it's not bragging" the Anglo-Saxon attitude towards heroes
When Beowulf meets Hrothgar, he gives a verbal resume
The purpose of the verbal resume is to let Hrothgar give him the job of saving the Jutes
What does Grendel do first the night he comes to Herot? He eats one of Beowulf's men.
What does Beowulf vow to do? Not use weapons, because Grendel doesn't use them
What does Beowulf ask Hrothgar as a special request? Let only Beowulf & his men be in Herot that night
What does Beowulf say about the possibility that he might die? Send my armor, etc., back home
What 2 moves does Beowulf put on Grendel first? Bends back his claw; then crushes both claws in his hands
What does Beowulf's men do? They try to help with their swords.
Why are the men's swords useless? Grendel has put a spell on all weapons so they cannot hurt him.
How does Beowulf kill Grendel? Rips his arm off
What happens to Grendel's arm? It is hung up as a war trophy.
Symbolic of hell, and of being an outcast the cave where Grendel & his mum live
Why does Grendel's mother return to Herot? To claim her son's arm
What happens when Grendel's mother returns? She kills the king's friend.
Beowulf is weaker in his fight with Grendel's mother because just 50 hours earlier, he had fought and killed Grendel
Why is Hrunting of no help to Beowulf in the fight with Grendel's mother? The weapons are magicked against hurting her, too.
How does Beowulf kill Grendel's mum? Beheads her
With what does Beowulf kill Grendel's mum? with a giant's sword
What trophies does Beowulf take back up to the Jutes? Grendel's head and the hilt of the sword
What happened to the giant's sword blade? It melted in Grendel's blood.
What does Beowulf do to the dead Grendel? He beheads him.
How do the Geats and Jutes behave at the lakeside? The Jutes give up on Beowulf; the sad Geats, however, don't.
Who wrote "The Wanderer"? Unknown
"The Wanderer," "The Seafarer," and BEOWULF are all part of the --? oral tradition
A man alone, apparently at sea, looking for a gold-lord, friends, family "The Wanderer"
Themes of "The Wanderer"? looking for meaning in our lives & finding a family & friends & career
Translated from Anglo-Saxon "The Seafarer," "The Wanderer," and BEOWULF
Translated from Latin Bede's story of Caedmon
Created by: ronane