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Anglo-Saxon Period

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Oral Poetry Epithets-use of adjectives to point out special traits of particular persons or things. Ex. ... Old English Religion: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anglo-Saxon Period


1
Anglo-Saxon Period
  • A.D. 449-1066

2
Anglo-Saxon Background
  • Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to
    designate the Germanic tribes who invaded the
    south and east of Great Britain beginning in the
    early 5th century AD, and the period from their
    creation of the English nation to the Norman
    conquest.

3
Major Events in Anglo-Saxon History
  • Anglo-Saxons are the new intruders
  • Coming of Christianity
  • The Viking Era
  • 1066 A.D. The End of Anglo-Saxons
  • MAIN IDEAEngland was under constant conflict
    and change

4
Anglo-Saxon Culture
  • Simple Architecture small towns with meeting
    hall Loyalty to clan
  • Language Old English
  • Religion Pre-Christian
  • Ruled by fateacceptance of deathbravery

5
Conflicts of the Era
  • order vs. disorder
  • civilization vs. the outcast
  • pagan values vs. Christian values
  • the code of honor (loyalty, courage, etc.)
  • the pursuit of fame and fortune (reputation)
  • the brevity of life/transience (fate)

6
The Epic
  • a long narrative poem - celebrates deeds of a
    heroic figure, hero battles outside forces, tone
    is serious
  • many epics are told using oral tradition

7
Characteristics of the Epic
  • the hero, generally male is of noble birth or
    high position
  • heros character traits reflect important ideals
    of his society
  • hero performs courageous sometimes even
    superhuman deeds
  • heros actions often determine the fate of a
    nation or group of people

8
Characteristics cont.
  • setting is large, often involving more than one
    nation
  • the poet uses formal diction and a serious tone
  • major characters often deliver long, formal
    speeches
  • the plot is complicated by supernatural beings or
    events (a journey)

9
Characteristics cont.
  • poem reflects courage and honor
  • poem focuses on universal themes, such as
  • good and evil
  • life and death

10
Oral Poetry
  • Epithets-use of adjectives to point out special
    traits of particular persons or things.
  • Ex. swift-footed - Achilles
  • Kennings-a descriptive phrase or a compound word
    that substitutes for a
  • noun.
  • Ex. sin-stained demon - Grendel

11
Old English Poems
  • It wasnt until several centuries after the story
    was told that Beowulf was recorded
  • Before it was recorded, the poem was spoken aloud
    or sung by a poet

12
Beowulf
  • Oral epic
  • Originating between 500 and 1100 A.D.
  • Written down in 11th century
  • Importance
  • Creates foundation for British Hero
  • Anglo-Saxon culture and beliefs
  • - Oldest surviving epic poem

13
Beowulf Literary Terms
  • Epic long narrative poem, celebrates deed of
    heroic figure, hero battles outside forces, tone
    is serious
  • Kenning metaphorical phrase that replaces a
    concrete noun (whale road ocean)
  • Caesura natural pause in poetry (where you see
    a break in the lines). This helped the story
    teller catch his breath and remember the next
    part of the story.

14
Major Characters
  • Beowulf -  The protagonist of the epic, Beowulf
    is a Geatish (an Anglo-Saxon tribe) hero who
    fights the monster Grendel, Grendels mother, and
    a fire-breathing dragon. Beowulfs boasts and
    encounters reveal him to be the strongest,
    warrior around.

15
Grendel
  • A monster that Beowulf fights, descended from
    Cain (bible allusion)
  • Hates mankind, but we also can feel sympathy for
    him at different points in the narrative
  • Powerful, merciless, and enjoys killing
  • Lives in the swamp (mere) with his mother

16
Hrothgar
  • King of the Danes (another tribe of men)
  • Old, experienced as a ruler
  • Notes the dangers of power as a ruler, but also
    the responsibility of keeping people safe
  • Helps Beowulf develop as a hero

17
Unferth
  •   A Danish warrior who is jealous of Beowulf,
    Unferth is unable or unwilling to fight Grendel,
    thus proving himself inferior to Beowulf

18
Wiglaf
  •   A young kinsman and retainer of Beowulf who
    helps him in the fight against the dragon while
    all of the other warriors run away. Wiglaf
    adheres to the heroic code better than Beowulfs
    other men.
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