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Anglo saxon language and literary terms
 

Anglo saxon language and literary terms

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    Anglo saxon language and literary terms Anglo saxon language and literary terms Presentation Transcript

    • LANGUAGE AND LITERARY TERMS
    • No one knowswho “wrote”BeowulfLike all early oral poetry, ithad as many authors assingers who performed it.It is from this poem thatwe derive many of the detailsfor our reconstructions ofAnglo- Saxon social life.
    • How Did It Last All of These Years?•Composed around 700 A.D. The story hadbeen in circulation as an oral narrative formany years before it was written.•The action of the poem takes place around500 AD•Poet is reviving the heroic language, style andvalues and pagan values of ancient Germanicoral poetry•The poem deals with ancient Germanicforebears, the Danes and the Geats•Only a single manuscript of the poemsurvived the Anglo-Saxon era. In the 1700’s itwas nearly destroyed in a fire•It was not until 1936 when the Oxford scholarJ.R.R> Tolkien published a paper on the poemthat is became popular.
    •  Old English was developed from Anglo-Saxon and other Germanic languages, and like most languages, evolved over the centuries, incorporating words and phrases from other languages and cultures.  When reading Beowulf, keep in mind the mixture of the pagan and Christian values and the way the language reflects both the oral tradition and the Old English in which the poem was written.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsUM1qk2y_o&feature=relmfu
    • How Did It Last All of These Years?Scops (pronounced "shops")were both composers andstorytellers who traveled fromcourt to court — theentertainers of Anglo-Saxontimes.Scops were expected to know a broad repertoire of tales and no doubt be able to compose talesin tribute to the patrons who financed them.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements An important aspect of Beowulf is the way in which it is told/written. •The scop uses kennings, alliteration, riddles, boasts, and foreshadowing in telling his story. •He also takes great care in describing Beowulf’s appearance as he readies for battle, as well as other parts of the story. •These create a strong (and difficult) voice.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Kenningsform of compounding words that are metaphoric in meaning.banhus (ban + hus)"bone-house” =human bodyhronrad (hron + rad)"whales road“ = the seaRodores candel"skys candle“= to the sun
    • Anglo-SaxonLiterary Elements Alliteration A figure of speech in which consonants, especially at the beginning of words, or stressed syllables, are repeated… In [Old English] poetry,alliteration was a continual and essential part of the metrical scheme . It was integral to the memorization of the lines as well Girt with Gods anger, Grendel came gliding over the moors beneath misty mounds. The man-scather sought someone to snatch from the high hall. He crept under cloud until he caught sight of the kings court whose gilded gables he knew at a glance.
    • Literary Elements Imagery The description of Beowulf’s breast-mail, helmet, and “patterned sword, a smith’s masterpiece,” paints a picture of the heavy armor Beowulf put aside in order to fight the monster Grendel (671-673). Because Beowulf gives up such weighty and protective armor, the reader’s view of the hero’s courage is elevated. Grendel does not just come down out of the night. He is “greedily loping (711) and “hunting for a prey in the high hall” (713). By showing Grendel’s actions, the narrator builds suspense and reveals the danger at hand.
    • Literary Elements ImageryDuring the battle, the “timbers trembled andsang” (766) and the “hall clattered andhammered” (770). Not only does this portray the sounds of battle, but also reveals the intensity and magnitude of the struggle.The poor man who loses his life to Grendel facesa terrible death. Grendel “bolted down hisblood/and gorged on him in lumps” (741-742). Gruesome details of the bloody battle provide vivid images and appeal to the reader’s sense of horror.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon Riddles The Anglo-Saxons loved riddles. They told each other riddles as well as listening to poems at their feasts. Some of the riddles were written down, so we are able to read them today. Anglo- Saxons enjoyed the playful and intellectual challenge of riddles, which described familiar objects in ways that forced the audience to guess their identity. Kennings were actually a type of miniature riddles, which were written in verse.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon RiddlesShort pieces used by scops while audiences were getting settled or as filler between sets during performances of longer epic works, such as Beowulf. Can you GUESS? At times I resort, beyond man’s discerning. Under surging billows to seek the bottom,Some riddles used “runes,” The ocean depths. Then the sea is shaken,implying a sense of mystery or Convulsed with foam, and the whale-flood ragesmagic In giant uproar. The Ocean streams Beat on the shore and batter the slopesTest the reader’s or hearer’s With rock and sand, with seaweed and wave.knowledge As I struggle and strain in the ocean depths I shake the land and the vast sea-bottom.Riddles offer a glimpse of From my watery covering I cannot forthAnglo-Saxon life and beliefs Till he grant me freedom who guides my waynot found elsewhere On every journey. O wise of wit, Tell who can draw me from ocean depths When the seas grow still and the waves are calm Which formerly covered and cloked me over.
    • Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon RiddlesShort pieces used by scops while audiences were getting settled or as filler between sets during performances of longer epic works, such as Beowulf. Can you GUESS?At times I resort, beyond man’s discerning.Under surging billows to seek the bottom,The ocean depths. Then the sea is shaken,Convulsed with foam, and the whale-flood ragesIn giant uproar. The Ocean streamsBeat on the shore and batter the slopesWith rock and sand, with seaweed and wave.As I struggle and strain in the ocean depthsI shake the land and the vast sea-bottom.From my watery covering I cannot forthTill he grant me freedom who guides my wayOn every journey. O wise of wit,Tell who can draw me from ocean depthsWhen the seas grow still and the waves are calm A Storm at SeaWhich formerly covered and cloked me over.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon RiddlesShort pieces used by scops while audiences were getting settled or as filler between sets during performances of longer epic works, such as Beowulf. Can you GUESS? In the town I saw a creature which feed the cattle. It has many teeth; its beak is useful as it points Down, gently plunders and turns for home; It searches for plants along the slopes, And always finds those not rooted firmly; It leaves the living ones held by their roots, Quietly standing where they spring from the soil, Brightly gleaming, blowing and glowing.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon Riddles Short pieces used by scops while audiences were getting settled or as filler between sets during performances of longer epic works, such as Beowulf. Can you GUESS?In the town I saw a creature which feed the cattle.It has many teeth; its beak is useful as it pointsDown, gently plunders and turns for home;It searches for plants along the slopes,And always finds those not rooted firmly;It leaves the living ones held by their roots,Quietly standing where they spring from the soil,Brightly gleaming, blowing and glowing. A RAKE
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon RiddlesShort pieces used by scops while audiences were getting settled or as filler between sets during performances of longer epic works, such as Beowulf. Can you GUESS? Round with rings I must readily obey from time to time my servant and master and break my rest, make noisily known that he gave me a band to put on my neck. Often a man or a woman has come to greet me, when weary with sleep, wintry-cold, I answer him: (their hearts were angry): “A warm limb sometimes bursts the bound ring.” Nonetheless it is pleasant to him, my servant, a half-witted man, and to me the same, if one knows aught and can then with words riddle my riddle successfully.
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements Anglo-Saxon RiddlesShort pieces used by scops while audiences were getting settled or as filler between sets during performances of longer epic works, such as Beowulf. Can you GUESS? Round with rings I must readily obey from time to time my servant and master and break my rest, make noisily known that he gave me a band to put on my neck. Often a man or a woman has come to greet me, when weary with sleep, wintry-cold, I answer him: (their hearts were angry): “A warm limb sometimes bursts the bound ring.” Nonetheless it is pleasant to him, my servant, a half-witted man, and to me the same, if one knows aught and can then with words riddle my riddle successfully. A Bell
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements BOASTSThe boast of an Anglo-Saxon warrior was notconsidered an instance of conceit but wasinstead a method of inspiring heroic deeds.It is not vanity, it is a recitation of pastachievements. It will list all of the great thingsthey have done. The achievements willusually include great battles and monsters.There will also be a vow, or a promise, basedon what he has already done. He makes acommitment to doing the same to savesomeone else
    • Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements BOAST1. Alliterative by nature. Alliteration is an important element inAnglo-Saxon poetry. One or more accented syllables in the first halfof a line almost always alliterate with one or more accented syllablesin the second half. Thus alliteration binds together the two halves ofa line.2. The use of kennings, phrases that are an elaborate and indirectway of naming persons, objects, or events, is another importantcharacteristic of Anglo-Saxon poetry. It is a distinctive element ofAnglo-Saxon poetry. For instance the sea is called "the pathlessdeep," and the body is the soul’s "prison house."
    •  Beowulf, A Verse Translatioin. Trans. Seamus Heaney. Ed. Daniel Donaghue. Norton Critical Edition. 2002. Norton bibliography on Beowulf , p. 2902. “Beowulf Linguistics”: edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/dblea/beowulf/BeowulfLingu istics.ppt