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Old English /Anglo-Saxon period PowerPoint Presentation
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Old English /Anglo-Saxon period

Old English /Anglo-Saxon period

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Old English /Anglo-Saxon period

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  1. Old English /Anglo-Saxon period Years: 449-1066

  2. Content • Strong belief in fate • Juxtaposition of church and pagan worlds • Admiration of heroic warriors who prevail in battle • Express religious faith and give moral instruction through literature

  3. Style/genres • Oral tradition of literature • Poetry dominant genre • Unique verse form • Caesura • Alliteration • Repetition • 4 beat rhythm

  4. Effect: • Christianity helps literacy to spread • Introduces Roman alphabet to Britain • Oral tradition helps unite diverse peoples and their myths

  5. Historical context: • Live centered around ancestral tribes or clans that ruled themselves • At first the people were warriors from invading outlying areas; Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Danes • Later they were agricultural

  6. Key Literature/Authors: • Beowulf • Bede

  7. Beowulf (epic poetry) • Long Narrative • Larger than life hero • Embodies values of the Anglo/Saxon society • Includes elements of myth, legend, folklore, & history • Has a serious tone • Uses more formal, almost grand language

  8. Beowulf (epic poetry) • Alliteration • Irony • Elegy: mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.  • Epic • Personification • Foreboding or foreshadowing • Heroic code  • Symbolism • Gleeman: an old English performer • Scop: an old English poet • Kenning: metaphorical compound noun ex. Body = bone-frame

  9. Beowulf: alliteration • Alliteration was widely used in the Germanic epic and in Middle English poetry before end rhyme gradually took its place. Here’s an older translation of the beginning:

  10. Beowulf: alliteration • Lo, praise of the prowess of people-kingsof spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,awing the earls. Since erst he layfriendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,till before him the folk, both far and near,who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,gave him gifts: a good king he!

  11. Beowulf: cultural characteristics • Bravery in battle • Bards or poets were used to elevate heroes of the tribes and were usually as important as the warrior themselves • Faith in God to intervene positively with fate • Influence of old pagan religion • Warfare was the order of the day • Amassing a fortune in battle • Reverence for womanhood—precursor to chivalry—is expected • Openhanded hospitality is the order of the day • Truth is highly cherished virtue • Great love for personal freedom

  12. Beowulf: heroic code • The invading Anglo-Saxon tribes were dominated by codes and customs which included • a warrior class that was ruled by a tribal chieftain • a body of personal retainers, or warriors, bound to the chieftain by kinship • the custom of gift-giving • a personal code of honor which included the concept of blood vengeance.  This code demanded that a warrior must either kill another person who injured or killed a kinsman or get compensation money for the injury or death            • a warrior must defend his lord to the death