English Final Study Guide - British Literature Final Study...

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British Literature Final Study GuideLit Term 50words: Grammar: “Pronoun/Antecedent”- worksheet; MLA Citations - Quotes: go to SparkNotes for each book and study the quotes on thereAnglo-SaxonThe Anglo Saxons were Germanic warriors who invaded the island(Britannia) and “ruled” there(Angle-lond land of the Angles) from around 375AD-1066AD after the Romans pulled out. The Anglo Saxons were a patriarchal society which strongly emphasized: bravery, honor, generosity, kinship, fraternity, comitatus, wergild(man price).The Anglo Saxons were a polytheistic society- they worshipped the pagan Norse gods of Scandinavia.Caedmon’s HymnExcept for a runic alphabet, the Germanic peoples did not acquire the art of writing until after their conversion to Christianity, which for England began in 597 with a mission sent by Pope Gregory the Great to Kent.Bede, an English monk, tells the story of how an illiterate cowherd, tending the monk’s cattle, was miraculously granted the gift of poetry.Religious works make up the majority of works from the Anglo-Saxon(and medieval) period because manuscripts were produced and preserved by the church. Yet Christianity did not do away with preliterate traditions of Germanic invaders were “converted” to the service of Christian poetry.The most fundamental element adapted from the pagan Germanic verse was its metrical form-the Homeric Greek hexameter(six feet of which the first four were dactyls/or spondees//) and the classic Anglo-Sazon trochaic, four-foot alliterative line: DUM-da|DUM-da (caesura) DUM-da|DUM daCaedmon’s job at the monastery is to tend the animals. Bede records that Caedmon claimed he was unable to sing. The subject of Caedmon’s hymn is “The creation of the Earth.”Dream of the RoodChrist is portrayed as a “young Hero,” the Crucifixion as a “great
struggle,” and the personified cross as a loyal retainer who “must standfast” with his lord and undergo death and burial with him; both are ultimately resurrected to new glory. The language and motifs of the heroic ethic are applied the Biblical doctrines of suffering and endurance rather than to vengeance.“The Dream of the Rood” illustrates a significant move by the early church to incorporate sacred doctrine into the secular literature of a pagan society in order to promote mass conversion.A “rood” is a name for the cross. The dreamer observes that although it is decked in gold, the rood beginsto bleed on the right side. The rood tells the story of the death of Jesus. The “young Hero” of the story is evidently Jesus. After his dream, the speaker of the poem feels hopeful.The WandererIs and Old English elegy(a formal, long poetic lament for someone who has died--or in this case--a lament for the universal experience of loss). It is also an allegory in that it represents all “wanderers” separated from their lord.

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