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Anglo-Saxon Literature

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Anglo-Saxon Literature The Celts Literature began in England with the Celtic Druids Druids would memorize and recite poems for special occasions The Anglo-Saxons ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anglo-Saxon Literature


1
Anglo-Saxon Literature
2
The Celts
  • Literature began in England with the Celtic
    Druids
  • Druids would memorize and recite poems for
    special occasions

3
The Anglo-Saxons
  • Anglo-Saxon performers known as scops recited
    poems for entertainment

The Anglo-Saxon scop was a professional or
semi-professional tribal poet who celebrated
cultural values by singing epics on occasions of
great ceremony and festivity. - Dr. Kelly
Taylor
4
The Anglo-Saxons
  • Recitation often accompanied by a harp
  • Idea of ominous fate, or wyrd, found throughout
    works
  • Contain a mix of Christian and pagan ideas
  • Only about 30,000 lines of Anglo-Saxon verse
    still exist

5
Poetic Devices
  • No end rhyme main thought or idea often runs
    over from line to line
  • Lines contain caesuras, or mid-line pauses
  • Poems use alliteration - the repetition of
    initial consonant sounds
  • Poems contain kennings - compound metaphorical
    phrases that rename concrete nouns (sea road
    ocean)

6
Types of Poetry
  • Divided into two main categories
  • heroic and elegiac

7
Heroic Poetry
  • Heroic retells the achievements of warriors
    involved in great battles
  • Most important heroic Anglo-Saxon work Beowulf

8
Beowulf
  • Beowulf national epic of England
  • Author unknown
  • Includes values of warrior society including
    dignity, bravery, and strength in battle

9
Elegiac Poetry
  • Lyric poem that mourns the loss of someone or of
    the past
  • Famous example of Anglo-Saxon elegiac poetry
    The Seafarer

10
The Seafarer
  • Author unknown
  • Speaker sailor reflecting on his life
  • Includes values of time period but also evidence
    of changing way of life

11
Links
  • Reading of The Funeral of Scyld Scefing from
    Beowulf
  • http//www.kami.demon.co.uk/gesithas/readings/bss
    _oe.html
  • The Beowulf Project
  • http//www.beowulf.org/
  • Reading of Grendels Approach to Herot
  • http//faculty.virginia.edu/OldEnglish/Beowulf.Re
    adings/Grendel.html
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