HN BritLit Study Guide 9/18

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Old English

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Old English

: 700 - 1066 A.D.

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Middle English

1066 - 1500

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Early Modern English

1500 - 1800

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Modern English

1800 - Present

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Manuscripts

Everything is hand written in Middle Ages

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Codicology

Study of Books

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Paleography

Study of writing (handwriting)

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Gloss(es)

Word(s) inserted in the margin or between the lines of a text to clarify or comment on it. (internal glossary)

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Who is Bede? And what is he famous for?

Bede is a monk and lived in a monastery. He read, wrote, and sang religious prayers. His main theme was on the spread of Christianity and the growth of the English Church He wrote down the eclesiastical history of the english people

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Caedmon's Hymn: Be able to give a summary of the story of Caedmon.

Caedmon was at a feast and left due to his inability to sing, he went to the stable and ended up falling asleep A man comes to him in his sleep and asks him to sing He says no he cannot sing He began singing in his sleep about praising God and all creation, when He woke up he remembered what he had sung and began adding verses He goes to the monastery and Monas Hild They deemed this a gift from the heavenly Lord Enters in the monastery, they began giving him scriptures which he interpreted and turned into lyrical verses 14 days before his death he knew he would die He asked for Eucharist from his peers and those in charity with himself in God He dies in his sleep after receiving Eucharist and was aware of his death/foreknowledge

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Caesura

Gap or break in the middle of a line of poetry

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Kenning

poetic naming, poetic term, a two word poetic renaming, (Ex: "whales' home" for "the sea")

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Alliteration

repeated initial consonant sounds in stressed syllables.

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Contemptus Mundi

the idea of nothing in this world has value therefore latch onto heavenly things. (Ex: the wise man's ideas (mentality) in the Wanderer Line 73)

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Ubi Sunt

rhetorical question that has the answer in it (Ex: "where are those things that have gone?")

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Anglo-Saxon (Code/Elements)

  • Heroic (deeds of bravery, loyalty is valued, vengeance is valued, desire for treasure)

  • Elegiac (exile, lament for loss of worldly things, yet desire to transcend the world for heavenly things)

  • Eulogy - a song of praise

  • Elegy - things that have gone away

  • *Exeter poems - Elegies (lyrical poems)

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Admonish

warn or reprimand someone firmly, warn to avoid something

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Sentinel

a soldier/guard whose job is to stand or keep watch

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Fervent

having or displaying a passionate intensity

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Rancor

long standing bitterness or resentment

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Compassionate

feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others

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Rapture

a feeling of intense pleasure or joy

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Why is understanding the historical context, relating to a warrior's relationship to his lord, important to appreciating the setting and the speaker's character in "The Wanderer"? (Lord & knight relationship)

It is important to understand the relationship between knight and lord because of the role the lord plays in the knight's life. When they leave for battle or are exiled they lose the protection from their king and the resources they provide. Although at battle they still have support it isn't the same. A lord pays their knights and gives them not only money but their protection and shelter, because of this when a lord dies or they're at battle and this is lost it is detrimental.

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How does understanding the role of women in Anglo-Saxon society help you understand the speaker's plight in "The Wife's Lament"?

Knowing that women during this time were mostly in charge of little other than bearing children and getting married, it shows through the poem how serious adultery and marriage was taken at this time. And helps understand more why she was exiled and so lonely.

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Be able to use and point out terms in the poems themselves... Ex: if asked to circle a kenning term - circle the word/words in the poem.

Ex. "wave-tumult" = sea "earth-hall" = cave "heart's thought" = feeling "folk-land" = city.

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The Wife's Lament Summary

The woman gets married Her husbands family hates the wife and wants to exile her/get rid of her Accuses her of adultery Her husband is the lord/king The king is away at battle, his kinsmen wrote to him that his wife is cheating and he is thinking of murder "Till death do us part"-> nothing could break them apart except death She gets banished (by her husband) to live under an oath tree, sticker bushes all around it to trap her in the cave Banishes her so he doesn't have to execute her as law says Illiterate and completely separated from her city and her husband's city, she feels alone and can only reflect on her thoughts and past life In the last stanza she is mad, wishes her Lord is "sad-binded"

  • "sad-binded": hopes he doesn't find love, is childless, kingdom ruined, is sad everyday, never finds love

  • Civil war erupts over the lack of a strong heir

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The Wanderer Summary

Weary of exile: scared of his loneliness and helplessness Everyone is dead -> fled from fate Wakes up and no one is there, his dreams were a false reality Unlock his heart-> express his feelings Locking his lips-> thinking what he wants but doesn't speak it If you want recognition and go on conquests/battle you can't complain you have to keep your fear inside His land and lord were raided and killed, he is one of the last survivors and has no protection or land Searching for a new lord Misses comradery, no one understands what he's been through When he dreams he dreams of how life was, his lord, and family -> sorrow goes away Wisdom comes with age, the more winters you've been through the more you've seen & experienced A wise man think about his word before he says them, calm, doesn't boil over, is patient, don't be weak strong & steadforth Comes across old ruins, rime covered(moss), an old battleground and ponders about what happens, EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WILL DECAY/WONT BE AROUND FOREVER Gray wolf-> Fenrir (Norse God) Ubi Sunt-> rhetorical questions Everyones dead

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The Seafarer

Written by a captain or someone on the open sea about how lonely life is on the sea knowing your family and friends are all home without you In the second half of the poem he finds God and speaks on religion

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