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Old English Period of British Literature


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Note: My mistake, Chaucer did not write Beowulf. It is anonymous.

Published in: Education, Technology

Old English Period of British Literature

  1. 1. Old English Period In British Literature
  2. 2. Old English Period 428-1100
  3. 3. Historical Context● Starting with the invasion of England by Teutonic tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes around 428.● Ending with the establishment of the Norman rule around 1100.● Monarchies were formed, Christianity was introduced, tribes were in conflict, Alfred the Great was a notable ruler of the period, who unified the Teutonic tribes.● Norman Conquest (1066) ended serious literature in the period.
  4. 4. Major authors and works● Geoffery Chaucer: Beowolf (c. 700)● Epic poems: "The Seafarer", "Widsith", "Deors Lament",● Christian works: Caedmons "Song", Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, Judith, Christ, Elene, Andreas, Phoenix● Heroic poems: "Battle of Maldon", "Battle of Brunanburgh"● Latin-> English prose: Pope Gregory: Pastoral Care, Boethiuss Consolation of Philosphy, Bedes Ecclesiastical History● Homiles of Aelfric and Wulfstan
  5. 5. Major Schools● School of Caedmon--Hymns, Genesis, Exodus, biblical paraphrases; Judith, aprocryphal● School of Cynewulf--Christ, Elene, Juliana, Fates of the Apostles, Andreas, saint lengends, Christian allegory Phoenix
  6. 6. Description of Old English Period● It was a period of pagan poetry, with a burgeoning on Christian elements.● Latin -> English prose translations● Homilies emerged in the tenth and eleventh centuries● Epic and heroic poetry took center stage.
  7. 7. Terms● Paraphrase: a restatement of an idea in such a way as to retain the meaning while changing the diction and form● Homiliy: A form of oral religious instruction given by a minister to a church congregation. It gives practical moral counsel rather than discussion of doctrine.● Apocrypha: originally meant as "hidden or secret things", it now denotes books of the Bible or of any author not regarded as inspired and excluded from the sacred Canon or that authors canon.
  8. 8. Overview● Period: Old English● Time Period: 428-1100● Major People: Chaucer, Caedmon, Cynewulf, Alfred the Great● Major Works: Beowolf, epic poems, heroic poems, Christian allegory, homilies● Major Schools: School of Caedmon, School of Cynewulf● Terms to Know: biblical paraphrase, homily, apocryphal literaure