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The Elegy a poem that mourns the death of a person or laments something lost.

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Presentation on theme: "The Elegy a poem that mourns the death of a person or laments something lost."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Elegy a poem that mourns the death of a person or laments something lost

2 The dominant mood in Anglo-Saxon poetry is elegiac. The dominant mood in Anglo-Saxon poetry is elegiac. It reflects a sense of sadness over the grimness and transient nature of earthly life that is found in the epic. It reflects a sense of sadness over the grimness and transient nature of earthly life that is found in the epic. It is also found in several Old English poems and fragments in which a bard laments the passing greater days and greater glories. It is also found in several Old English poems and fragments in which a bard laments the passing greater days and greater glories.

3 The Seafarer From the Exeter Book, a manuscript of miscellaneous Anglo-Saxon poems dating from around A.D From the Exeter Book, a manuscript of miscellaneous Anglo-Saxon poems dating from around A.D Based on oral tradition and recorded by monks. Based on oral tradition and recorded by monks. The songs of the Exeter book are the chief source of Anglo-Saxon poetry. The songs of the Exeter book are the chief source of Anglo-Saxon poetry.

4 Social/cultural basis for the poem Anglo-Saxons were sea voyagers Anglo-Saxons were sea voyagers Northern seas were then– as now – especially cruel. The weather is harsh and the seas rough. Northern seas were then– as now – especially cruel. The weather is harsh and the seas rough. The speaker in The Seafarer is an old sailor who drifted through many winters on ice-cold seas. The speaker in The Seafarer is an old sailor who drifted through many winters on ice-cold seas.

5 Primary theme – fatalism Reflects mood of deep gloom and pessimism Reflects mood of deep gloom and pessimism Life was brief and filled with peril Life was brief and filled with peril Ones fate or wyrd was inescapable Ones fate or wyrd was inescapable Many scholars believe A/S were quick to embrace Christianity because it offered comfort and relief from the bleak pagan outlook. Many scholars believe A/S were quick to embrace Christianity because it offered comfort and relief from the bleak pagan outlook.

6 Secondary theme - exile A recurrent theme in A/S poetry A recurrent theme in A/S poetry Isolation might come from accidents at sea or the aftermath of battle (especially if ones lord or protector were killed). Isolation might come from accidents at sea or the aftermath of battle (especially if ones lord or protector were killed). Many A/S poems contrast joy and security of the tribal banqueting hall with misery or danger Many A/S poems contrast joy and security of the tribal banqueting hall with misery or danger


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