Brit Lit Study Guide

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British Lit Final Study Guide
* Anglo-Saxon Literature
* England invaded by Germanic tribes
* Value community, pagan worshipers, kinship, loyal to each other, honor * Wergald: Man payment- someone is killed in tribe, his people want revenge or money compensation. Kill someone in the other tribe or get money. * Beowulf wants to protect Wrothgar’s Kingdom; kills Grendel for revenge. * Epic

* Oldest form of literature we have
* Elevated style (Serious)
* Opens with statement of theme, convocation of the muse
* Presents character of high position with adventures surrounding epic hero * Gives history of a people or society
* Oral tradition, no single author
* Written in formal language
* Supernatural forces
* Heroic figures-consistent, no internal struggle
* Elegiac
* Gloomy
* Predestined for death
* Like Beowulf welcomes death
* Sacrifices himself for his people
* Epic Hero
* Figure of unknown origin
* Journey to the underworld
* Savior of people
* High morals; integrity
* Fortitudo et Sapientia (Fortitude and Wisdom)
* Character or high estate, noble lineage
* Loyalty, important relationship between warrior and king * Scope
* Person travels to kingdoms singing epic stories. Use pneumonic devices to help remember long poems. * Hemmistyck
* Half line
* Quantative Meter
* Two stressed syllables
* One half line
* Ubi-scant
* Where have they gone?
* Wyrd
* Fate
* Kenning
* Metaphor-way to rename something

* Middle Ages/Anglo Norman Period
* Battle of Hastings 1066
* Duke of Normandy took over England
* Brought the French language and culture with him
* Last successful invasion of England
* Chaucer
* First person to write in the common language
* Writes in London dialect
* Brought English language back
* Considered the father of English poetry
* Rise of towns guilds
* Group of people who knew a specific trade, middle class/working class * Catholic Church was very corrupt, feudalism, clergyman sell indulgences * In Canterbury Tales Chaucer brings light to this

* Monk: wears furs, travels, does not obey vows of poverty, resembles a prosperous lord * Friar: gives people easy penances who donate money. Dress richly lives prosperously * Canterbury Tales

* Narrator is within the story- Chaucer as a Pilgrim
* Miller’s Prologue
* Fiblieu-no message, purpose is to entertain
* Pardoner’s Tale
* Tale of three friends who find treasure and all plan to kill each other for it * Avarice: Desire for wealth
* Moral: Money is bad, greed is the root of all evil
* Story is exemplum: something people can learn from

* Romance
* Sir Gawin and the Green Knight
* Stresses social rank
* Purpose is to entertain
* Hero not consistent
* Depicts pointless adventure
* No point or reason for battle
* Supernatural does not have virsilimatude
* Fantasy not realistic, couldn’t happen
* Originally written in French
* Remote and exotic times and places
* Exotic and Courtly Love
* Between older woman and younger man. Woman is married secret love. Woman is of nobility. Woman is in absolute power * Chivalry, knights standing up for honor
* Universal Truth: love, chastity, evil, woman are idealized: pure, virgins

* Drama: Morality and Mystery Plays
* Earliest type of drama happened during mass. Hyrastuitha in Switzerland * Trope: embellishment of a part of mass
* Play was about Mary and Mary going to visit Christ tomb * Called Quem Quaertis: means whom do you seek.
* Mystery Play
* Biblical stories from the fall of Eden to final judgement day. * Performed on a wagon by certain guilds
* Carpenters would tell story of crucifixion
* Second Shepard’s Play
* Start with political issue then go into biblical...
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