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Anglo-Saxon Elegies, Lyrics, and Epics. Anglo-Saxon Elegies. ELEGY a poem mourning the loss of someone or something such as the passing of life, a way of life, beauty, or anything of intrinsic or spiritual value. Anglo-Saxon Lyrics. LYRIC POETRY

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Anglo-Saxon Elegies,

Lyrics, and Epics

anglo saxon elegies

Anglo-Saxon Elegies


a poem mourning the loss of someone or something such as the passing of life, a way of life, beauty, or anything of intrinsic

or spiritual value

anglo saxon lyrics

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics


Brief, melodic poems that focus on expressing personal emotions or thoughts, rather than telling a story.

anglo saxon lyrics1

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

In ancient Greece, lyrics

were recited or sung to the accompaniment of a lyre,

thus the name lyric.

anglo saxon lyrics2

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

Anglo-Saxon lyrics usually have some or all of the following elements:

Regular beat, usually four stressed or accented syllables or beats per line, often called “Anglo-Saxon meter.”

anglo saxon lyrics3

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

Caesura: pause within a line of poetry, sometimes indicated by a punctuation mark like a period or a semi-colon

anglo saxon lyrics4

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

Kenning: a specialized metaphor

made of compound words or a phrase used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly.

Example: “whale road” for sea.

Refer to class handout on kennings.

anglo saxon lyrics epics

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics, Epics

Assonance: repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds in words that are close together

anglo saxon lyrics5

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

* Alliteration: repeated sounds at the beginnings of words in close proximity (within two or three lines of each other).

anglo saxon lyrics6

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

* Hyperbole: exaggeration used for effect

anglo saxon lyrics7

Anglo-Saxon Lyrics

* Litotes (lie-toe-tees): a special form of understatement negating the opposite (saying the opposite is not true.)

Example: Summer in Central Texas is not exactly cool.

anglo saxon epics

Anglo-Saxon Epics

Epic:a long narrative poem that recounts the great deeds of a legendary hero who embodies the values of a particular society and is in pursuit of a goal of national importance.

anglo saxon epics1

Anglo-Saxon Epics

Folk Epics versus Literary Epics

Folk epics: stories about heroes recited or sung as entertainment and passed from generation to generation by oral tradition. Eventually, folk epics were written down some time after they were composed.

anglo saxon epics2

Anglo-Saxon Epics

Folk Epics versus Literary Epics

Literary epics: have the same style and conventions of a folk epic but are written by an individual author

anglo saxon epics3

Anglo-Saxon Epics


* Invocation of a muse

* Plot begins in medias res

* Serious in tone

* Lofty and dignified style


Key elements of an epic include:


the central character or protagonist of the epic;

will be larger-than-life in a

super hero way or

of noble or

semi-divine birth.

anglo saxon epics4

Anglo-Saxon Epics


the epic hero goes on a long, dangerous mission thereby proving his heroism and winning honor, respect, glory, and renown.

anglo saxon epics5

Anglo-Saxon Epics


His actions demonstrate his courage, strength, and/or virtue.

anglo saxon epics6

Anglo-Saxon Epics


often receives help from a god, or another supernatural force, who takes an interest in his quest or hero must journey to and return from the “Underworld.”

anglo saxon epics7

Anglo-Saxon Epics


the epic hero defeats monsters that represent the dark, destructive forces or powers that are in opposition to the “good.”


Anglo-Saxon Elegies, Lyrics, and Epics

As with previous notes, these will be supplemented and expanded as the semester progresses.

Be sure you keep these notes in the literature section of your notebook.