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1. Anglo-Saxon literature


History of British Literature For Undergraduate Students

?What

is Literature? material such as poetry, novels, or essays ?the body of written work of a particular culture, people, or era: Elizabethan literature ?written or printed matter of a particular type or genre: medical literature ?the art or profession of a writer
?written

Function of literature ?Beautify ?Enrich ?Purify ?Touch and move How to learn the course? Pre-view and review every class ?Pre-view: make yourself clear of what the teacher is going to say, have a general view of the new lesson ?Review: select the important points of the lesson, and remember them. It will be a hard work to remember all of them before exam. The ability to integrate and connect ?Combine the literature with the historical background. ?Combine the literature with the political background. ?Combine the literature of one period with that of other periods. Broad reading ?Literary works ?Related comment articles

?Love it, not as a course, but as an interest—one can last in your whole life. ?Follow my steps and arrangements ?Contact me if you have any ideas ?Tell me your suggestions and opinions at any time, I will appreciate them very

much. ?E-mail: imzhangy@yeah.net

William Shakespeare

?Anglo-Saxon period(5th-11th) ?Middle-Age Period (12th-15th) ?Renaissance Period (16th) ?Revolution and Restoration period th ?18 century literature ?Romantic period (early 19th) ?Victorian period (from mid 19th) ?Modern period (20th)

(17th)

Anglo-Saxon period(5th-11th) history, Beowulf, Caedmon and Cynewulf Bede and Alfred Middle-Age Period (12th-15th) romance, ballad Langland, Chaucer, Malory Renaissance Period (16th) Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson More, Bacon Revolution and Restoration period Metaphysical and Cavalier poets Milton, Bunyan, Dryden 18th century literature Enlightenment movement, neo-classicism: Pope, Johnson periodical literature sentimental movement development of novel Romantic period (early 19th) Pre-Romanticism: Blake and Burns Romanticism: Wordsworth, Coleridge

Byron, Shelley, Keats novel: Jane Austen, Walter Scott prose: Lamb Victorian period (1837-1901) poetry: Tennyson, Browning critical realistic novel: Dickens, Thackery, Bronte sisters, Mrs. Gaskell, George Eliot prose: Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold Modern period (20th) Aestheticism: Pater, Wilde Hardy: novelist and poet poetry: Yeats and T. S. Eliot novel: Galsworthy, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf drama: Bernard Shaw Part One Early and Medieval English Literature

I. Historical background 1. the making of British nation 2. social and religious features II. Anglo-Saxon literature 1. Beowulf 2. Anglo-Saxon poetry 3. Anglo-Saxon prose 4. features Chapter 1 The Making of England ?Britons (Celts) ?Britain– the land of Britons ?Living in huts ?In tribal society ?―The oldest Celtic laws that have come down to our day show the gens still in full vitality‖ 1. Celts– natives of Britain ?Metal was an integral part of life. ?A tribe of war-worship. ?Life style: agriculture and stock raising. 2. A history of being invaded 1 Roman Conquest ?Mid 1st C B.C.—early 5th C A.D. ?55 B.C. Julius Caesar

?Roman Roads, walls, garrisons, villas, etc. were built. ?London ?Christianity

1 Roman Period ?The Celts: driven to the mountain areas slaves unfree cultivators of the land ?410 A.D. The Romans withdrew. Julius Caesar 2 The English Conquest (Anglo-Saxon Period) ?Since the mid-5th Century ?Anglo-Saxons: the tribes of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who migrated to England from the European Continent, or more specifically from western Denmark and the northwest coast of Germany. ?The Britons: driven to the hills north and west --Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Angles, Saxons, Jutes 2 The English Conquest (Anglo-Saxon Period) ?Seven kingdoms ?7th century ?Wessex: centre of military and political power supremacy in culture and learning in the 9th and 10th century. 3. The social conditions of Anglo-Saxons ?Anglo-Saxons: ?Later stages of tribal society before they settled down. ?Occupation: agriculture professional soldiers hereditary military leaders ?It hastened the disintegration of tribalism. ?The transition from tribal society to feudalism. 4. Anglo-Saxon religious belief and its influence ?Anglo-Saxons: heathen people believing in old mythology in Northern Europe.

?7 century, they were Christianized. ?Monasteries

th

Chapter 3 Feudal England 1.The Danish Invasion ?From 787, Danish vikings. ?King Alfred the Great—led people defeat the Danes, and all the kingdoms in England were united into one. ?The period of Seven Kingdoms came to an end. King Alfred the Great 2 Norman Conquest ?1066 ?From Normandy (Northern France) ?William the Duke of Normandy (William the Conqueror) ?Significance: ?The ―Norman Conquest‖ marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon period. ?Feudalism underwent further development in this period 2 Norman Conquest– social class

2 Norman Conquest—society ?Agriculture developed. ?Trade expanded. ?Towns came into existence. ?Wealth became more concentrated. II. Beowulf (贝奥武甫) --- the national epic of Anglo-Saxon Epic Epic: A long narrative poem telling about the deeds of a great hero and reflecting the values of the society from which it originated. Many epics were drawn from an oral

tradition and were transmitted by song and recitation before they were written down. Scops and Gleemen ?Scops—poet singers who sang poetic tales of their own making. ?Gleemen– retellers of epic already in circulation. ?Priests—wandering minstrels. Beowulf --- the most monumental work in English poetry of the AngloSaxon period

Beowulf Beowulf Beowulf Beowulf ?A folk legend brought by Anglo-Saxons from the continent. th ?Written down in the 10 century. Beowulf ?3183 lines of alliterative verse, which is also the longest poem in the period. ?A long verse on the theme of ―arms and the man‖, and belongs to the tradition of a national epic in European literature. ?part-historical, part-legendary origin of the story. ?Co-existence of elements of tribal society in a heathen world and the feudal society with Christian coloring. Beowulf 5. Mixture of pagan elements and Christian coloring. 6. Pagan mood and tribal life are the dominant features of the story. 7. A folk legend brought by Anglo-Saxons from the continent. 8. Written down in the 10th century. Language and Writing Features of Beowulf ?Alliteration ?Metaphors and understatements ?The language is called ―old English‖. ?Emphatic stress. Generally there are four stresses in a line though there are various syllables. ?Compound words Alliteration

?The repetition

of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables, as in "on scrolls of silver snowy sentences" Hart Crane. Modern alliteration is predominantly consonantal; certain literary traditions, such as Old English verse, also alliterate using vowel sounds Alliteration ?Safe and sound ?Live and learn ?Forgive and forget ?Clear and clean Examples of Compound Words ?Swan-road, whale-path, seal-bath meaning the sea. ?Wave-traveler meaning a ship. ?Shield-bearer, battle-hero, spear-fighter meaning soldier. ?Sword-clashings, edge-clash meaning battles or fights. ?Ring-mail, limb-sark, breast-net meaning armour. Comment on Beowulf ?A brave and selfless man– ready to help others in distress ?A worthy leader—ready to sacrifice his own life for the welfare of his people. ?The story is told in a leisurely way, with a high artistic technique. Christian Poetry -- Caedmon and Cynewulf Christian Poetry ?Caedmon (凯德蒙) ?Father of English songs ?―Hymn‖– a 9-line poem praising Creator Christian Poetry ?Cynewulf (琴尼武甫) ?The greatest Anglo-Saxon poet ? Christ ?Juliana ?The Fates of the Apostles ?Elene ?More lyrical and personal compared with Caedmon III Anglo-Saxon Prose ---Alfred, ―The Anglo- Saxon Chronicle Introduction of Anglo-Saxon Prose ?They were written in Latin. ?Venerable Bede– father of English learning ?The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

2 King Alfred the Great ---the most prominent figure in Anglo-Saxon prose Alfred’s contribution to English Literature ?King and translator: He translated numerous Latin works into English ?―Pastoral Care‖—the preface of it by Alfred is considered as―the first important piece of prose in English‖ ?―Ecclesiastical History‖ ?―The History of the World‖ ?―The Consolations of Philosophy‖

Alfred’s contribution to English Literature ?Freedom in translation ?Regulation of old elliptical abrupt style in the Latin language ?He played an important role in launching the ―Anglo-Saxon Chronicle‖. ―Anglo-Saxon Chronicle‖--significance ?It is a very important historical document and specimen of Anglo-Saxon prose. ?It is also known as the ―old English Chronicle‖ ?It began with the year A.D.1 to A.D.1154. ?It represents the thoughts and feelings of the common people of England, esp. between the middle of 10th century to the middle of 12th. ―Anglo-Saxon Chronicle‖--features ?Poems and ballads are included. ?Unusual sights or happenings in the natural world were frequently mentioned. ?Kings were commented. ?Passages describing the political oppression and economic exploitation were contained. ?It was written in simple straight language. More materials on-line ?http://www.bartleby.com/65/an/AnglSxLit.html ?http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~hanly/oe/503.html ?http://www.answers.com/anglo-saxon/literature ?http://dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/World_Literature/British/Anglo-Saxon


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