Anglo-Saxon Period

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Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066)
Major Works
* The Seafarer: tells the story of one man’s struggles as he faces his fate of life on the sea * Elegy: genre of poetry that mourns a person’s death or something lost * The ending of the poem has a shift in tone. Why? May be two poems put together (two different writers) * The first tone: no faith/no hope, loneliness

* The second tone: has faith, spiritual yearning, religious * The poem illustrates that one major life goal of the Anglo-Saxons was fame, so that they could live on after death. * The monk who copied down the poem and changed the ending to make it more Christian. * Beowulf: an epic poem that tells the story of the hero Beowulf, as he fights three enemies: Grendel, Grendel’s mom, and a dragon. * Discuss 3 examples of imagery in the poem.

* Summer – being happy, together
* Angels in Heaven
* Funeral – death
Plot Outline for Beowulf
* Beowulf first comes to the aid of King Hrothgar, leader of the Danes, who lives at a mead-hall called Heorot. (this was set in modern-day Denmark) * Beowulf is challenged by Unferth, one of Hrothgar’s men, who says he wasn’t as great/heroic as he claimed to be (the swimming challenge) Brecca <--- swimming challenge * Grendel is killing and eating Hrothgar’s men

* Beowulf tears off his arm, and Grendel retreats to his underwater lair, where he dies. * Then, Grendel’s mom comes to avenge his death by killing Aeschere <--- Hrothgar’s best friend * Beowulf chases after her, and dives down into the lake to her underground liar. * There, his sword doesn’t work, and she ruins it. But he finds a sword created by giants that has the power to hurt her, and he kills her. He also cuts off Grendel’s head, takes it back to Hrothgar as proof that he killed them. (stabs her in neck) * Years later, Beowulf is King of Geats. A thief in his land angers a dragon by stealing his gold, so he goes...
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