Anglo Saxon Literature

Submitted By jnix07
Words: 4363
Pages: 18

* Anglo-saxon is a very vocabulary and inflection driven language. Sort of lost that after the norman invasion * Norman French becomes main language, AS becomes language of streets because the AS becomes lower class * No clear date or event for when transition from middle English to modern English * Significant even distinguishing middle from modern is the great vowel shift * AS cherished heroism * Clan/family driven lifestyle * Earl is the name for the head of the clan * Second’s in command of clans were called thanes * Battle is one of the most important ways of life for AS * Much of the literature we have of that day is about battle * Battle of maldon is meant to celebrate life and death of heroes. Made to be sung in order to remember easier * Christian poems (battle of maldon and dream of the rood) *

* Middle English * Most people died earlier than us. Low average death age * People grew up in one spot and lived there their whole lives, no real roads * A lot of war * Of 18 kings of England between middle ages, died violent death * A lot of plagues * Bubonic plague wiped out ¼ of population * Most people were undernourished the majority of the time * Even staying warm is a challenge * * Romance features * Always deal with kings/queens/upper level people * Very idealizing * Focuses on whole question of someone’s virtue * Gawain * Virtues – courtliness, truth, religion, rationality, manly self control * Tested by opposite of what he believes *

* Shield * Pentangle, star, stands for truth * Five traits * Christianity * Devotion to mary (pic on inside) * Mary’s true knight * Gawain is tested * Courtliness is just as important as truth, etc. * Even the best of people can have their virtue or resolve be taken down by their passion, and they should be humbled by this * Doesn’t know where he’s going, has to fight his way there, cold, sucks * Prays for place to pray and refurbish his spirituality * * Part 3 is a test * Chivalry is being tested, has to be courteous to her but turn her down at same time * lays his head down 3 times * lady comes into room three times * goes hunting three times * three kisses * flinches the first time * second time green knight pulls back axe * third time he cuts him a little bit bc he took the green belt and lied to host * knight gives Gawain the green belt to keep and remind him of his cowardess * belt is supposed to remind everyone that even best of you can be at fault * all other knights agree to wear green belts along with Gawain * maybe belt saved his life??? * Maybe like a rabbits foot thatll keep me safe or it could be boastful item of pride * Belt shows they are member of group * Moral or story – be ashamed and humble, because we are all mortal and can mess up * * * * SHAKESPEARE * Divine right of kings – attitude toward kingship that is natural, inevitable, and sanctioned by god. Above law. Godly presence. Kings will is the law. Sun is king of planets, its best one. Lion is king of beasts, associated with kingship and vice versa. Gold is king of metals. * Henry 7 was very smart monarch * Before him a lot of independent territories with no allegiance toward anyone else * Henry imposed much stronger central command. Made himself lord of all countries * Reformation – martin luther – catholic monk, distressed by positions and tendencies of catholics. Tried to reform church from inside. Then posted his theses on church door. He started new Lutheran church. Birth of Protestantism. * Vice character everyone hated * Henry iv is a history play * Shakespeare means to give a kingly virtue of honor in prince hal * Honor is associated with physical courage