Presentation on theme: "a poem that mourns the death of a person or laments something lost"— Presentation transcript:
1a poem that mourns the death of a person or laments something lost The Elegya poem that mourns the death of a person or laments something lost
2The 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 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. 940.Based on oral tradition and recorded by monks.The “songs” of the Exeter book are the chief source of Anglo-Saxon poetry.
4Social/cultural basis for the poem Anglo-Saxons were sea voyagersNorthern 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.
5Primary theme – “fatalism” Reflects mood of deep gloom and pessimismLife was brief and filled with perilOne’s fate or wyrd was inescapableMany scholars believe A/S were quick to embrace Christianity because it offered comfort and relief from the bleak pagan outlook.
6Secondary theme - “exile” A recurrent theme in A/S poetryIsolation might come from accidents at sea or the aftermath of battle (especially if one’s lord or protector were killed).Many A/S poems contrast joy and security of the tribal banqueting hall with misery or danger