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British Literature Introduction

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1 British Literature Introduction
Mrs. Leach and Mr. Haynes British Literature Introduction Mrs. Leach and Mr. Haynes

2 HISTORY Middle Ages 449-1485 The Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066
The Medieval Period

3 The Middle Ages 449-1485 Characteristics of the period
Enormous upheaval and change in England Reigns of some of the most famous and infamous kings Time of disastrous wars, both internal and external Time of foreign invasion Time of painful reconsolidation and emergence of England as nation This is the Seal of the City of Bergen, Norway, showing medieval merchant ship. Medieval sailing vessels incorporated improved methods of rigging and a swinging stern rudder. However, except for galleys, which were propelled by oarsmen, ships were inevitably at the mercy of the wind. In order to reach Great Britain, the Vikings had to cross the turbulent North Sea – never an easy task even in the calmest of weather. The prows of Viking “long-boats” were often carved with dragons’ heads to frighten the enemy.

4 Anglo-Saxon Period “Anglo-Saxon England was born of warfare, remained forever a military society, and came to its end in battle.” - J. R. Lander In a society dominated by aggression, what would you expect to be the Anglo-Saxon attitude toward family life, the role of women, art, literature, ethics and work?

5 Celtic Invasions Turn in your book to page 3 for the INVASION MAP!!
Around 500 BC three groups of Celts invaded British Isles Brythons (Britons) settled island of Britain Gaels settled on Ireland Picts (tattooed people) settled in Scotland Organized into clans; loyal to chieftain Religion – animism (from Latin for “spirit”) (see BRAVE) Believed spirits controlled every aspect of life Druids – priests who settled arguments, presided over religious rituals, and memorized and recited poems about past Conquered by Romans in the first century A.D. and became part of the Roman Empire. Druids thought that the soul was immortal, passing in death from death from one person to another. Considered mistletoe and oak trees sacred and generally held their rites in old oak forests. From about 700 B.C., the Celts dominated most of what is now western and central Europe. Skilled artisans, they introduced the use of iron to the rest of Europe. They also had a highly developed religion, mythology, and legal system that specified individual rights. The Celts were also adept at curing hams, keeping bees, and making wooden barrels. The language of the Celts was dominant in Britain until around the 5th.

6 Celtic Warrior Garb

7 Roman Invasions 55 BC Julius Caesar invaded Britain
Began to Christianize the Celts; Celtic religion vanished Controlled world from Hadrian’s Wall to Arabia Roman Helmet Refer to British Isles map in contents pages Picture of Hadrian's Wall on page 7 The great defensive wall is Hadrian's Wall, which linked the North Sea and the Atlantic near the present-day border between England and Scotland, and held back the marauding Picts and Scots for two hundred years. Along this wall were seventeen large stone forts to house the Roman legions guarding the frontier.

8 Roman garb during Britain invasion

9 Hadrians Wall 73 miles coast to coast.
Think of it not as a FENCE but as the SPINE of the Roman Empire VIDEO

10 Roman Invasions: What legacy did the Romans leave?
System of roads/highways –one could travel where previously not possible. Beauty and culture (Bath) an organized society keeping invaders out 407 AD end of Roman rule in Britain The 5,000 miles of stone roads the Romans built linked tribal capitals and towns, especially London, York, and Winchester. These roads faciliated trade, the collection of taxes, and the movement of troops. With the Romans gone and no central government in place, how did this leave the Britains? Vulnerable to outside attacks? Clans fighting for control?

11 Angles/Saxons from Germany
Here they come!!! – 449AD Angles/Saxons from Germany Jutes from Denmark Angles, Saxons, and Jutes Deep sea fishermen and farmers Language Common language now known as Old English (similar to Dutch and German) Religion – pagan – similar to Norse mythology HORRIBLE HISTORIES What are some of the names of Anglo-Saxon gods that has survived and still very much part of our daily lives? Tuesday – from Tiw Wednesday from Woden Thursday – chief Teutonic god – Thor – god of thunder Friday – from Frigga, goddess of the home

12 Anglo Saxon men and women

13 Germanic Invasions - 449 Created the Anglo-Saxon England (“Angle land”) Divided into separate kingdoms United themselves in last two centuries to resist invasions from Vikings, or Norsemen (whom they called Danes). Seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon Period: Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex, and Kent

14 Conversion Honorius (in 597 AD) vows to Christianize Anglo-Saxons turning them from their pagan ways.

15 Monks in Action The Venerable Bede ( AD) was a monk who wrote “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People” p. 83 in textbook “The Exeter Book” was a collection of manuscripts compiled by monks that blended Christian and pagan ideas about the after life. Synod of Whitby decides to calculate the EXACT date of Easter and observe dates according to Roman custom.

16 Viking Invasions 8th-12th Centuries
Invaders from Norway and Denmark Anglo-Saxons unprepared for ferocity of Vikings HORRIBLE HISTORIES Viking Ship, known as the Oseberg Ship, dates 825 AD, and is thought to be the burial chamber of Asa, a Viking queen, whose active life belied the passive role women played at this time in history. Married against her will to a Norwegian king, Asa had her husband killed and ruled alone until her death in Accompanying Asa on her voyage to the afterlife was the body of a maidservant, priceless gold and gems (which subsequently were stolen by looters), and objects such as sleds and a wagon. These would permit Asa to travel in the afterlife as much as the Vikings enjoyed traveling while living. Not a true longboat, this royal barge was tied to a rock before it was buried. The ship was unearthed in 1904. Viking Ship, known as the Oseberg Ship, dates 825 AD.

17 Vikings ready to raid.

18 Protection from Vikings
Vikings destroyed monasteries and sacred objects Slaughtered everyone in settlements that couldn’t pay enough to them King Alfred “The Great”of Wessex (871 AD) forced Vikings to northern England

19 The Battle of Hastings 1066 AD
VIDEO The Normans win and begin to rule ENGLAND

20 The Normans

21 Final Influence of the Invaders
Celts- culture involved literature. Romans- enjoyed feasts and built walls to protect. Anglo-Saxons- rigid and had gloomy outlook on the world. Vikings- hostile and aggressive Normans- established judicial system

22 Making a TIMELINE Gather all of the dates that you have compiled with your notes and create a timeline of British History from AD.

23 Let’s focus on just the ANGLO-SAXONS!!

24 Anglo-Saxon Social Structure
Tribal units led by CHIEFTANS (kings, lords) earned their respect from their THANES (warriors) The relationship between them was called COMITATUS. CHIEFTANS were known for displaying the HEROIC IDEAL (courage in war and boasting). The CHIEFTAN also dished out the SPOILS OF WAR. This was very important to their culture. WITANS were WISEMEN. EORLS were nobility that ruled territories. (EARLS)


26 Characteristics of the Mead Hall
VIDEO The Anglo Saxon society centered around the Mead Hall Throne room Barrack Banquet Hall Food, drink, and fellowship

27 Anglo-Saxon Civilization
Weapons and treasure IMPORTANT! Ruler generous to those who remain loyal AVENGING the death of a beloved was a MUST. Alternatives to death? 1. paying a WEREGILD or 2. arranging a MARRIAGE Women were known as CUP-BEARERS and PEACE-WEAVERS (you should recognize these as what?) As a resut, they would win fame and become models for others? What does the word stoic mean? How do you think stoicism will play into literature?

28 Anglo-Saxon Literature
Oral tradition – poems and song committed to memory and performed by scops, bards, gleemen 597 AD St. Augustine sent to convert Anglo-Saxons. Latin works translated into Old English. Edwin, the King of Northumbria converted to Christianity in 627 AD Churchmen were anxious to eliminate pagan stories so Beowulf is quite unusual.

29 Anglo-Saxon Literature
Beowulf – one of few pieces that survived. Priests and monks were the only ones who could write; stories survival depended upon them. The church was not too eager to preserve literature that was pagan in nature, so historians believe they either ignored it or changed it. This may account for the mixture of Christian and pagan elements in Beowulf.

30 Those that told the stories
Scop- Anglo Saxon poet Gleeman- strolling minstrel We get our SYNTAX from the Anglo-Saxons. The poetic structure was based on accent and alliteration NOT rhyme and meter.

31 Old English Poetics Alliteration – repetition of consonant and vowel sounds at the beginning of words Caesura – a natural pause or break in the middle of the line of poetry and joined by the use of a repeated vowel or consonant sound Out of the marsh // from the foot of misty Hills and bogs // bearing God’s hatred Grendel came // hoping to kill Anyone he could trap // on this trip to high Herot

32 Old English Poetics Kennings – a metaphorical phrase used to replace a concrete noun. Ready made descriptive compound words that evoke vivid images Kennings are formed by prepositional phrases possessive phrases compound words Preposition phrase – Giver of knowledge Possessive phrase – mankind’s enemy Compound word – sea path

33 Kennings Review the “Alliteration and Kennings” worksheet
Review the “Simple Kennings” worksheet Complete “Kenning Chart”

34 “The Wanderer” p. 26 in textbook
An Old English poem from the 10th century, preserved in “The Exeter Book.” The date of the composition is unknown but most certainly predates 1070AD, as it was probably part of an earlier, oral literary tradition. It is an ELEGY or mournful poem. It is written in Alliterative meter. Look for Alliteration, Kenning, and Caesura as you read. Complete worksheet #4 “The Wanderer” If time, complete #5 “Alliteration and Kennings in the Wanderer”

35 “The Seafarer” p. 21 in textbook
Just like “The Wanderer,” this was found in “The Exeter Book.” Imagine what life would be like if there was no television. Writings like “The Seafarer” and “The Wanderer” capture the nature of entertainment during the Anglo-Saxon period. People turned to traveling storytellers (known as _______) to mesmerize them with stories.

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