2 Literature Characteristics Few “pieces” of literature; however, it covers a larger period of time than any other literary periodOriginated to celebrate heroismOral literature (due to widespread illiteracy); therefore, it has to be told from person to personDoesn’t rhyme, but has a strong rhythm suitable for chanting.Recited by the scops/bards (wandering poets) who sang of gods and heroesStatus of scops was equal to that of warriors because they preserved fame
3 Literature Content Strong belief in fate Juxtaposition of church and pagan worldsAdmiration of heroic warriors who prevail in battleExpress religious faith and give moral instruction through literatureCommunal hall represents shelter and entertainmentFull of battles; boastings, pride in glory and blood-thirstinessMeasures time by nights, moons and wintersSpiritedness is achieved by respect for bravery and loyalty
4 Common Themes of Poetry Terror of northern wintersAwareness of transitory nature of lifeReferences to fear of the sea because of its immensity, cruelty and mystery
5 Literary Devices: Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant soundUsed to bind the two halves of a lineOne or more accented syllable in the first half of a line is always alliterated with one or more accented syllable in the second half.Gives poetry a chant-like effectEx) “tears torn out of Grendel’s taut throat”
6 Literary Devices: Homily Literally "sermon", or any serious talk, speech, or lecture providing moral or spiritual advice.A passage in a work that gives stern solemn advice on how to live and is mostly concerned with morals and conduct.
7 Literary Devices: Caesura “Every nice ear, must, I believe, have observed that in any smooth English verse of ten syllables, there is naturally a pause either at the fourth, fifth, or sixth syllable.” – Alexander Pope
8 Literary Devices: Caesura A natural pause or break dividing a FOOT between two words, usually near the middle of a line with two major stressed syllables in each partA FOOT is a unit of rhythm in verseFound in typical Anglo-Saxon verseLiterally: “a cutting”Old English, cennan – to declareOld Norse, kenna – to know or name
9 Literary Devices: Caesura ExamplesA prince of Geats had killed Grendel
10 Literary Devices: Caesura How do I identify the stressed vs. the unstressed syllables?stress/accent – a greater amount of force (breath or emphasis) given to one syllable in speaking than is given to another.Slightly louder, higher in pitch, or longer in duration than other syllables
11 Which syllable is stressed? EagleOpenCigarPreciseMystiqueStatueImpactUntil
12 Words typically without a stress ForAnFromTheOfAtToByWith
13 Identify the Stressed Syllables By John DonneBatter my heart, three-personed God, for YouAs yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bendYou force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
14 Identify the Caesura By William Blake And priests in black gowns were walking their roundsAnd binding with briars my joys and desires.
15 Literary Devices: Appositive An appositive is a noun or pronoun — often with modifiers — set beside another noun or pronoun to explain or identify it.An appositive phrase usually follows the word it explains or identifies, but it may also precede it.
16 Literary Devices: Epithet A word which makes the reader see the object described in a clearer or sharper light. It is both exact and imaginative.A word of phrase preceding or following a name which serves to describe the character.A short, poetic nickname--often in the form of an adjective or adjectival phrase--attached to the normal name.The Homeric epithet in classical literature often includes compounds of two words such as, "fleet-footed Achilles," "Cow-eyed Hera," "Grey-eyed Athena," or "the wine-dark sea." In other cases, it appears as a phrase, such as "Odysseus the man-of-many-wiles.”The historical epithet is a descriptive phrase attached to a ruler's name. For instance, King Alfred the Great, Duke Lorenzo the Magnificent, Robert the Devil, Richard the Lionheart, and so on.The generally descriptive epithet would appear in Old Norse and Germanic cultures to help distinguish individuals, thus giving us (in Njal's Saga) colorful names such as Hallbjorn Half-Troll, Ulf the Squinter, Hjorleif the Womanizer, and Ketil Flat-Nose.Frequently, this technique allows a poet to extend a line by a few syllables in a poetic manner that characterizes an individual or a setting within an epic poem.
17 Literary Devices: Kenning A figurative, metaphorical expression/phrase or compound word that takes the place of a common nounA long-winded, forceful metaphor made up of strung-together adjectives and nouns that stand for a thing without naming it (often using alliteration)Vivid and picturesqueConnects words to complex concepts and rich emotionExamples . . .
22 More Examples of Kennings twilight-spoilerbattle-sweatslaughter-dewbrow-starsring-giverlight of battleViking’s moonsun-tabledragonbloodbloodeyesprinceswordshieldsky
23 Examples of Kennings from Beowulf Ship:Queenthe bent-necked woodThe peace-bringer among nationsthe ringed prowSwordthe foamy-neckedleavings of the filethe sea-woodBattlethe sea-farerstorm of swordsDragontwilight spoiler
24 A look at complex kennings Construct complicated kenning strings by means of consecutive substitution.For example,slaughter dew worm dance = battleSlaughter dew worm danceblood worm dancesword dancebattle
25 Compound Kennings=shiphorse of the seawhale-road=sea
26 then a ship became a “horse of the whale-road” =
27 Try this Complex Kenning Using the following 3 kennings, create a complex kenning meaning “warrior” by using consecutive substitution“provider to ravens” is a warrior“swans of blood” are ravens“mead of battle" is blood
28 Did you get it? provider to the swans of the mead of battle “provider to ravens” is a warrior“swans of blood” are ravens“mead of battle" is bloodprovider to RAVENSswans of BLOODmead of battle =is a WARRIOR
29 Modern Kennings bone-house fire-water information super-highway gasoline gulperdarkness destroyersleep stopperword-eatersun smudgespinning water-spitter