British Literature, Medieval to 18th Century
British Literature, Medieval to 18th Century ENGL 120
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Mr. Brant Hoeger
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Date Created: 10/25/15
English 120 Midterm Review Guide Historical Timeline 0 Old English Period 500 to 1100 AD 449 to 1066 0 Middle English Period 1100 to 1500 10661485 0 4000 BC ndoEuropean o 1000 BC Celts arrive in Britain 0 55 BC Caesar invades Britain during Gallic Wars came to Britain to fight Gauls o 98 AD Tacitus writes the Germania Tacitus Roman warning Romans about Germany 0 London has become a Roman city due to Caesar o Hadrian s Wall built to keep out Picts llpainted onesquot who attacked Rome from North 410 AD Romans leave Britain after 400 yrs of rule St Augustine writes City ofGod 0 St Augustine big sinner converts from pagan to Christianity 0 Wrote City ofGod as a defense of Christianity after sacking of Rome 449 AD Germans interested in Britain AngloSaxons arrive led by Hengest and Horsa o Came to help the nobles but overthrow Celtic nobility and the AngloSaxons now have Britain quotAngliiquot ankle 0 Birth of English The Anglii people speaking quotAnglishquot take over Britain Thus the language started first as the AngloSaxon language took over Anglish and eventually Britain became known as quotAnglandquot 597 AD Augustine is sent to Britain by Gregory the Great to spread Christianity 657680 AD Caedmon uses alliterative verse for Xian subjects 680 AD Approximate composition of Beowulf 1066 AD Norman Conquest William the Conqueror attacks from Norway 1400 AD Chaucer s death 1485 AD William Caxton s printing of Sir Thomas Mallory s Morte Darthur Tacitus o Tacitus is a pagan didn t think much of Christianity 0 Containment policy Interest in Primitive Raise moral standards What kind of style do you find in Tacitus 0 Interest in primitive natives put less value on metals and luxuries 39 Like old fashioned coins and silver because of its ease for payment 0 Raise moral standards very noble especially to women Extreme kinship between marriages only exalted captains accept other wives Good morality is more effective in Germany than good laws are elsewhere Hospitality inviting strangers in 0 Style grand narrative analytical concise writing Pagan Gods and Religion o Nerthus Mother Earth goddess of fertility Men believe she s interested in their affairs and drives her chariot among them Sacred chariot story only visited by high priest in the woods I quotWash the Deity after ceremony slaves purified the vestments chariot and statue of Nerthus in the lake and were then drowned o Sympathetic Magic rituals done for a purpose Cows are considered sacred fertility and are put on the land to promote growth Nerthus soil then rain 0 Ingaevones Germanic tribe said to be descendants of the three sons of Mannus son of Tuisto o Baritus War songs usually sung honoring Hercules to rouse courageinspire o Tuisto pagan god thought to be a hermaphrodite His name is linked to two twist thread to represent the duality of nature or both man and woman Therefore people worship him as a god of Genesis 0 Woden Germanic pagan God named Wednesday after him Praised as the llFather of Invading Armiesquot Donned a hat and staff Woden Mercury 0 Mercury god of commerce People thought it wasn t sin to sacrifice humans 0 Hercules appeased by animal sacrifices sang of him when going into battle Wergild payment to a slain victim s family worth the victim s monetary value by the murderer Also used in very serious crimes Comitatus an armed group that upholds a noble heroic code of utmost loyalty and kinship amongst themselves and the king The bonds between them are like family Alcuin Quid Hinieldus cum Christa Alcuin wrote this in 797 questioning what nged a pagan has to do with Christianity nged is set to marry the daughter of Hrothgar However nged s father Froda was killed by the Danes and Beowulf fears revenge Bede and Caedmon s Hymn Our story is Bede s account in Latin Caedmon can t sing at the tankard parties where a harp is passed around to each person A stranger tells him to sing about Creation and the hymn is his song Three Depictions of God in 3 Lines 0 quotheaven kingdom s GuardianquotFather quotthe Measurer s mightquotSon creator quotand his mind plansquotHoly Ghost mental Caesura marked by spaces Old English verse was spoken not written so a more accurate rendering of the caesura is a verbal pause Heavy alliteration H s emphasized in first lines Headstave the first word in the 2nd half life that receives full stress and determines the alliteration for the rest of the line The 0 Merging of Christian elementsGods with Pagan verseoral singing tradition 0 Christian Father Son Holy Ghost Talks about crucifixion of Christ and Genesis 0 Pagan the hymn is a song as German ancestry had no written language but had oral history The act of singing at tankards is pagan o Exponabant the monks would explain the Bible to him and he turned it into verse Dream of the Rood o Riddle genre used for serious exegeticaltranslation of biblical works purpose 0 Found in Vercelli Manuscript a collection of Old English prose entries in 10th century 0 Ruthwell Cross Anglo Saxon cross dating back to eighth century Dream of the Rood is inscribed on this cross Depicts Christian elements like St John Jesus and Lamb of God Located in Dumfries Scotland Destroyed in Scotland but reconstructed later 0 Brussels Cross contains lines relating to Dream of the Rood o Allusions o quotIt was as though I saw a wondrous treequot Great World Ash Tree Yggdrasil 0 Line 6 quotbeama beorhtost quotbrightest of beams double meaning in that the tree was covered in beams of light heavenly and that it s made of beams of wood The narrator feels guilty sinful in the presence of the tree 0 Communicatio idiomatum very close linking of apparent opposite 0 Tree as throne and instrument of torture quotSometimes it was bedewed with flower and gore At other times it was bedecked with treasurequot 0 Cross as both king and victim o Dreamer as both sinner and saved 0 Prosopopeia speaker talks to audience by speaking as another personobject o OE hleodrode means that it quotmade a sound Ongann ha word sprecan lit then began to speak words 0 Pagan Elements 0 Vividly violent cross is cut from forest Germans worshipped in the woods and groves Pagans worshipped a Blood God There s also an emphasis on treasurewealth 0 Poem opens with a riddleepic invocation with quotHwaetquot means listen Parallels physicalspiritual worlds 0 The Death of Baldr 0 An oath is put upon Baldr that protects him from harm Loki a trickster god who is jealous of Baldr dresses up as a woman and asks Frigg about this oath to which he learns that Baldr is vulnerable to mistletoe quotAll creation wept in order for Baldr to return to Earth every living creature had to shed tears for him Baldr was son of Odin and God of truth and light Sutton Hoo 0 Site of two Anglo Saxon cemeteries with outstanding arthistorical significance 0 Shed light on period of English history which was in the margin between myth legend and historical documentation Extremely ornate weapons and armor were found mirroring those of the Beowulfera which contained features of both AngloSaxon and Roman society Beowulfopens with the burial of Shield Sheafson on a ship with treasure AngloSaxon Chronicle 0 The Peterborough Chronicle this version of the manuscript was kept in this monastery and provides an English perspective on the rule of the Normans under William after the conquest Begins with pious observations about the transitory nature of fortune in this world and the expected eulogy of the late king Yet the praise shifts into criticism and finally into rhyme satirizing William s greed and arbitrary exercise of power especially his cruel game laws 0 llChristianity was such in his day that every man who wished was able to perform the duties that pertained to his religious orderquot 0 Strict punishment for those who go against him and those who commit crimes I llAnd ifa man raped a woman he immediately lost those parts with which he took pleasurequot o Greed overcame him he cared for nobody If anybody dared rise against him llmay God be merciful and grant forgiveness to his soulquot Adonis and Tetragrammaton o Adonis Jewish tradition of calling God llAdonaiquot out of respect of the commandment to not take God s name in vain 0 Used by the Phoenicians for their god Tammuz origin of Greek name quotAdonisquot o Tetragrammaton llhaving four letters refers to the Hebrew name for God in the Bible 0 JHVH vs YHWH Jehovah vs Yawheh The Wanderer vs Wife s Lament 0 Tone Elegiac Consolatio the lonely warrior has lost it all and remembers his fallen kinsmen and the fightingtreasurescelebrations he shared with them Consolatio means it s filled with emotions and often talks about death misery loss of loved ones 0 The Wanderer discusses an exiled warrior who has lost all his kinsmen and his lord Reveals the sheer emotional desolation the loss of loved ones has on warriors Parallels what Ecgtheow Beowulfs father would have suffered if not for the hospitality of Hrothgar o The tone is upheld by pessimistic thoughts images of bleak wintry days He often talks of fate and how the world is fleeting o Wife s Lament is from the point of view of a woman whose loss of llher lordquot is actually referring to her husband The speaker was married to a nobleman of another country her husband has left her possibly forced into exile due to a feud and his kinsmen are hostile to her 0 She may have been a quotpeaceweaver like Hildeburh in Finnsburg Episode Finnsburg Episode 0 Hrothgar s poet performs the saga of Finn and his sons in celebration of Beowulf s victory o Hildeburh daughter of former Danish king Hoc was married to Finn kind of Friesland presumably to end a blood feud When the poet begins the tale the feud has already broken out when a visiting party of Danes led by Hildeburh s brother Hnaef who has succeeded Hoc his father is attacked by a tribe called the Jutes The Jutes are subject to Finn but may be a clan distinct from the Frisians and Finn doesn t seem to have ordered the attack In the ensuing attacks both Hnaef and the son of Hildeburh and Finn are killed Hengest one of Hnaef s most loyal warriors has a pact with Finn and his surviving troops o Finn guarantees a safe stay in Friesland swearing the Frisians won t cause any llinfringement by word or deed and they d be promised their honor and status However they live in forced allegiance to their thane s murder 0 Hnaef was llthe pride and prince of the Shieldings he and Finn s son are burned together on an effulgent pyre o Hengest stays for the winter living homesick helpless and without his lord o A lllonging woke in the coopedup exile for a voyage home but more for vengeance some way of bringing things to a head his sword arm hankered to greet the Jutesquot o Retribution Hengest slays Finn and his men in their own home with a brutal ambush o Hildeburh is taken back to Denmark with Hengest s men with tons of gold and jewelry Weland 0 Famous Blacksmith ofGreek legend Beowulf s chainmail is said to have been forged by Weland symbolizing the immense power he contains Yggdrasil quotThe Terrible One39s Horsequot also called the World Tree is the giant ash tree that links and shelters all the worlds 0 Yggdrasil means quotthe horse of the terrible one and is the world tree whose branches overhung the world and struck out above the heavens It had three mighty roots one reaching down to Giantland the other in foggy Niflheim and the third went to heaven Odin hangs himself on this tree to gain runic knowledge sacrificing himself to himself Who is the greatgrandson of Aeneas What has the Trojan war got to do with Britain 0 Brutus is the great grandson of Aeneas His mother died at childbirth as a prophecy predicted and he killed his father in a bow hunting accident Brutus sent away to exile to Greece finds Trojans living there in slavery He organizes them and forms a rebellion then sail away to an island Here they make a sacrifice to the Gods and Diana tells Brutus of an island that he and his people should inhabit This island is Britain as Brutus is the eponymous founder of Britain Canterbury Tales First 18 Lines Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote When April with its sweetsmelling showers The droghte of March hath perced to the mate Has pierced the drought of March to the root And bathed every veyne in swich licour And bathed every vein ofthe plants in such liquid Of which vertu engendred is the flour By which power the flower is created Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth When the West Wind also with its sweet breath Inspired hath in every holt and heeth In every wood and field has breathed life into The tendre croppes and the yonge some The tender new leaves and the young sun Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne Has run half its course in Aries And smale foweles maken melodye And small fowls make melody That slepen al the nyght with open ye Those that sleep all the night with open eyes So priketh hem Nature in hir corages So Nature incites them in their hearts Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages Then folk long to go on pilgrimages And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes And professional pilgrims to seekforeign shores To ferne halwes kowthe in sondry londes To distant shrines known in various lands And specially from every shires ende And specially from every shire39s end Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende Of England to Canterbury they travel The hooly blisful martir for to seke To seek the holy blessed martyr That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke Who helped them when they were sick