Anglo-Saxon Poetry

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Last updated: December 14, 2019
Six characteristics of Anglo-Saxon poetry
alliteration, epithets, kennings, understatements, repetition, and caesuras

Define alliteration
the repetition of the 1st consonant sound in a single line of poetry

Define epithets
an adjective only used for describe a certain noun

Define kennings
two nouns to describe one well-known noun

Define understatements
a statement making a scene less than what it is

Define repetition
repeating the same idea multiple times in different ways

Define caesuras
a pause/cut in the middle of the line

9 characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon hero
reflects values of his people, courage in face of doom, avenges friends and family, is a strong leader, risks death for good of society and/or glory, stands out as exceptional, accompanied in fights but fights alone, exhibits superhuman strength, intelligence, or bravery, and is ethical/fair

4 characteristics of Beowulf (book)
contains Christian influences, has Scandinavian setting, is pseudohistorical, and the oldest surviving piece of British Literature

Define flyting
a character who downplays the hero which gives him a chance to brag about themselves

Who is jealous of Beowulf?

What are the 4 books of Anglo-Saxon literature?
Beowulf, Exeter, The Ecclesiastical History of English People, and The Anglo Saxon Chronicles

What is the Exeter Book?
Contains poems and riddles

What is The Ecclesiastical History of English People?
Written by Bede, sat down and wrote the whole book (not commissioned or written later)

What is The Anglo Saxon Chronicles?
Commissioned by Alfred in 4 different cities, first book to be written in english but translated from Latin, is non-fiction b/c it contains events of the real world

Why did people write the books in Latin?
B/c at that time, all the monks knew that language, so it would last

Who is the father of the English language?
Alfred, b/c he switched and encouraged English to be spoken and written down since he realized the significance of that language

Did Anglo-Saxon poetry rhyme?
No, but used caesuras as a rhythmic device

Define vernacular
spoken language of the people

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