Exam Questions - 1 Beowulf"The first great English epic...

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1. Beowulf: “The first great English epic poem, Beowulf , composed between 7 & 10 century in England, defined the relationship between the lord of the region and his followers. The poem exemplifies the three major aspects, honor, loyalty, and fate, of the warrior culture in Medieval Scandanavian society.” Europe was becoming more Christian. This text, like others, transcribed with intent of taking poem’s oral, pagan roots to mix with newer concepts of Christianity. Therefore, poem was originally pagan oral epic, but later became a Christian epic. Warriors: believed in 3 key concepts: H onor, L oyalty, & F ate. H: essentially synonymous with bravery & courage. Beowulf’s men prove dishonorable when they flee from him when he needs their help. Honor is always tied to family & warriors are sure to pay respect to elders (when introducing, give family title) P195: “warrior will sooner die than live a life of shame. L: evident in way Wiglaf chastises men who flee from dragon at the end. They lack honor & loyalty & are “dishonorable”. L entails idea of self-sacrifice, concept that one owes it to people to sacrifice for greater good. (ei: Beow. pledges L to Hrothgar after Hroth. solves dispute between Beow father & another man.) F: one dies when one dies. Not controlled by person. Beow charges into battle against dragon as old man bc his H & its his duty. Either slay dragon & save kingdom or die trying, not bc he is or isn’t strong enough, but Fate . P193 : “what god judged right would rule what happened to every man, as it does to this day.” 2. J ews : “ since fall of roman empire, jews were socially isolated & viewed inferior to Christians in 11 th century” SOCIAL ROLES: socially isolated, br&ed as outcasts in Europe. 11 th century- J’s forced to flee from homel& due to Christian crusades. Population experienced mass shift throughout east/west Europe. BC of growing monopolies of trade by Christians, Js unable to join trade so were forced to work as moneylenders. Most ended up as craftsmen, merchants, moneylenders providing capital for emerging commercial society. Unlike Christians, weren’t forbidden to charge interest on loans. Kings, lords borrowed from Js & encouraged bc they saw Js as their serfs & their property as their own. STATUS: inferior bc mainly settled in West Europe. Rumors began to spread (“sacrificing Christian children in representation of crucifixion. Led to J massacres in Engl, France, Spain, Germ.). Ppl believed Js brought diseased & would not live near them (segregation). Js served as scapegoats for Chris. Kings would tax them more than Chris. Kings also confiscated property to benefit national treasury & authoritative image of king. In 1181 (france) phillip augustus declared 80% of outst&ing debt to Js would be eliminated & 20% of debt would be paid back to king. Year later, expelled Js from France. In 1198, let them return but profession would only be $lending or $changing. Were to be heavily taxed & monitored by officials. Art degraded Js . Often wearing cone shaped hats & different style of dress. Ppl despised Js
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