Presentation on theme: "Background and Introduction"— Presentation transcript:
1 Background and Introduction BeowulfBackground and Introduction
2 Invasion of the British Isles B.C. Celtic invasion Brythons (Britons) in Britain and Gaels in Ireland (clan culture)55 B.C.- Roman invasion (establishment of towns, introduction to Christianity)407 A.D. – Romans leave British Isles5th Century (449 A.D.) Anglo-Saxon invasion (Germanic tribes). Celts flee but leave Christian customs
3 Viking Invasion 9th Century Norse invade Scotland, Wales, Ireland Danes invade southern EnglandAnglo-Saxon’s maintain power and Christian values against pagan Vikings871 A.D. Alfred the Great establishes Saxon rule, promotes rebirth of learning and culture1066 A.D. Anglo-Saxon rule falls to Normans (North men, Vikings) with death of King Edward
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. LanderIn 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 Anglo-Saxon Civilization Persons of rank received with grave courtesyRuler generous to those who remain loyalEveryone aware of shortness of life & passing of all things in the worldImpersonal, irresistible fate determined most of life (Wyrd or Fate)Heroic human will & courage allowed individuals to control their own response to fate
6 Characteristics of an Epic Hero Is significant and glorifiedIs on a questHas superior or supernhuman strength, intelligence, and/or courageIs ethicalRisks death for glory or for the greater good of societyPerforms brave deedsIs a strong and responsible leaderReflects the ideals of a particular society
7 Anglo-Saxon PoeticsAlliteration – repetition of consonant and vowel sounds at the beginning of wordsAssonance- repetition of vowel sounds inside the wordsCaesura – a natural pause or break in the middle of the line of poetry and joined by the use of a repeated vowel or consonant soundOut of the marsh // from the foot of mistyHills and bogs // bearing God’s hatredGrendel came // hoping to killAnyone he could trap // on this trip to high Herot
8 Anglo-Saxon PoeticsKennings – a metaphorical phrase used to replace a concrete noun. Ready made descriptive compound words that evoke vivid imagesKennings are formed by prepositional phrases possessive phrases compound wordsPrepositional phrase – Giver of knowledgePossessive phrase – mankind’s enemyCompound word – sea path
9 BeowulfComposed by single Christian author for a Christian audience (probably a Northumbrian monk)Sometime in the 8th -11th centuries ( )Only manuscript available dates from the year 1000; discovered in the 18th centuryEpic poem handed down through oral traditionDepicts a world from early 6th centuryComitatus – Germanic code of loyaltyThanes – warriors swearing loyalty to kings in return for land, treasures
10 Old English Old English is also known as Anglo-Saxon 449-1100 Runic alphabetnguage_timeline/index_embed.shtmlngs/Beowulf.Readings.html
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