Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements. The Epic and the Epic Hero http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glN2r1jVvic. Qualities and Characteristics. Defintion. A long narrative poem told in elevated style about the actions of a noble or semi-divine person. Qualities of Epic Poetry.
Qualities and Characteristics
A long narrative poem told in elevated style about the actions of a noble or semi-divine person
The main character is of noble birth
Action is on a huge scale
God(s) come to the aid of the hero
It is written in elevated style
En Medias Res (Action starts in the middle of things)
Literary inventories (long family histories)
Descriptions of battle and weapons
Definition: the central character of an epic who has superior qualities and risks personal danger for the greater good.
Is important and glorified
Is on a quest
Has superhuman strength, intelligence and/or courage
Risks death for the good of society and for personal glory
Performs brave deeds
Is a responsible leader
Reflects the values of the culture
A few new ones and one you’ll recognize
Composed extemporaneously by scops
Kennings=formula phrases that substitute for a noun
They are types of metaphors used to create alliteration and striking imagery
Compound words, like “ring-giver”
Prepositional phrases, like “winters of grief”
Possessives, like “ocean’s face”
Poets needed kennings (noun replacement words) to meet the alliteration needs of the poetry.
Remember: kennings are nouns, not adjectives!
Definition: a break or long pause in a line of poetry.
The poetic line in Anglo-Saxon poetry is broken in half
The metrical unit is the half line.
repetition of similar consonant sounds at the beginning of words in a line of poetry
Used in place of rhyme
Used to unify ideas
Sally sold sea shells at the sea shore
1. Each half line must contain 2 stressed syllables and any number of unstressed syllables.
2. Either 1 or 2 stressed syllables in the first half line must alliterate with 1 stressed syllable in the 2nd half line.
u / u / u / u / u
He wove his words in a winsome pattern.