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Anglo-Saxon Literature


Important Literary Terms Old Enlish (古英语 古英语):Language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons is called the Old English, which is 古英语 the foundation of English language and literature. Romance (中世纪的传奇故事 The Romance was the prevailing form of literature in the Middle 中世纪的传奇故事): 中世纪的传奇故事 Ages. It was a long composition, sometimes in verse, sometimes in prose, describing the life and adventures of a noble hero. What are the characteristics of Anglo-Saxon literature? Anglo-Saxon literature is almost exclusively a verse literature in oral form. Most of its creators remain unknown. It is written down long after its composition. Two groups of poetry are found in Anglo-Saxon period. Before Christianity was introduced, there was pagan poetry. The representative is Beowulf. After the introduction of Christianity, Christian poetry appeared. The representatives are the poems composed by Caedmon and Cynewulf. Prose arrived later than poetry. It appeared in about the 8th century. Venerable Bede and Alfred the Great are famous prose writers of that period. In what aspects did the Norman Conquest affect English language and literature? After the Norman Conquest, chivalry was introduced into England. The knightly code, the romantic interest in women, tenderness and reverence paid to Virgin Mary were reflected in the literature of that period. English language was made a despised thing as the Anglo-Saxons’ social became lower. French became the leading language used by the ruling class and a large number of French words entered the English language. Latin was used by the scholars and clergymen. Three languages existed in England then. 1. Anglo-Saxon conquest happaned in the ______. a. 5th century b. 7th century c. 9th century 2. The first Englishmen are ______. a. Angles and Saxons b. Angles and Jutes c. Anglo-Saxons 3. The history of English literature began with ______. a. Anglo-Norman conquest b. Anglo-Saxon settlement in Britain c. the appearance of Beowulf 4. ______ is the most important specimen of Old English literature. a. Historia Ecclesiastica b. The Hymn of Praise c. Beowulf 5. The main stories of Beowulf are based on the folk legends of ______. a. the Bible b. the primitive northern tribes c. Anglo-Saxons 6. Beowulf presents an all-round life picture of the ______. a. feudal society b. tribal society c. bourgeois society 7. The use of ______ is a notable feature of Beowulf. a. alliteration, metaphors and understatements b. strong stresses and predominance of consonants c. all of the above 8. The first known religious poet in England is ______. a. Caedmon b. Cynewulf c. Vernerable Bede 9. When we talk about the Old English prose the first name that comes into our mind is ______. a. Alfred the Great b. Aelfric c. Vernerable Bede 10. ______ is Alfred the Great’s most important contribution to the Old English prose literature.

a. The Ecclesiastical History of the English People b. Historia Ecclesiastica c. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1. The Norman Conquest brought the body of customs and ideals known as ______ into England. a. chivalry b. feudalism c. Christianity 2. After the Norman Conquest, the knightly code, the romantic interest in ______, tenderness and reverence paid to ______ were reflected in English literature. a. nature, Jusus Christ b. art, God c. women, Virgin Mary 3. The prevailing literary form in the feudal England was the ______. a. ballad b. chronicle c. romance 4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the culmination of the romances about ______. a. Charles the Great b. Aexander the Great c. King Arthur 5. William Langland wrote about social discontent and preached ______. a. freedom and democracy b. the equality of men and dignity of labour c. good morality and free thinking 6. Piers Plowman describes the narrator’s ______. a. dream visions b. meditations c. dialogues 7. Chaucer is acclaimed not only as the father of English poetry but also as ______. a. the father of English fiction b. the father of English prose c. the father of English drama 8. The Romaunt of the Rose, the most popular poem of Middle Ages was ______. a. written by Chaucer b. one of Chaucer’s translations from French c. one of Chaucer’s adaptations from Boccaccio 9. Being one of the forerunners of ______, Chaucer praises man’s energy, intellect, quick wit and love of life. a. humansim b. realism c. modernism 10. One of Chaucer’s great contributions to English poetry is his introduction of ______ to English poetry. a. French poems b. Italian humanism c. French rhyming couplet of iambic pentameter


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