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Old English Literature

Old English Literature

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Old English Literature

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  1. Old English Literature

  2. Anglo-Saxon Conquest • Angles, Saxons, Jutes • The formation of a united kingdom—England • The formation of the Old English • The coming of Christinity

  3. Anglo-Saxon poetry • Pagan poetry (secular poetry) • Emphasize the harshness of the circumstances and the helplessness of humans before the power of fate • The Seafarer, the Wanderer • Beowulf • the first great English literary work, the national epic of the Anglo-Saxons • the heroic ideal of kings and kinship: courage, strength and wisdom

  4. 3) The story: Beowulf Hrothgar, Grendel, Grendel’s mother, fire-dragon

  5. Beowulf vs. Grendel

  6. 4) Features: ---an all-round picture of the tribal society and pagan civilization ---the use of alliteration ---the use of metaphors and understatement 5) Beowulf: a grand hero, a wise ruler, a savior of the people

  7. 2. Religious poetry (Christian poetry) • mainly on biblical stories and the stories of the saints • Caedmon (610-680) • the father of English song • a poetic paraphrase of the Bible • Cynewulf (early 9th century) • greatest next to the author of Beowulf • A deep love for Christ and reverence for Virgin Mary in his works

  8. Anglo-Saxon prose appeared in the 8th century • Venerable Bede (673-735) • the first scholar in English literature • The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (in Latin) 2. Alfred the great (848-901) • King of Wessex kingdom • The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles---the monument of Old English prose