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Anglo-Saxon Period and Beowolf
Transcript of Anglo-Saxon Period and Beowolf
A New Beginning
The term also refers to the language spoken at the time in England, which is now called Old English
•The term Anglo-Saxon is a relatively modern one. It refers to the Germanic peoples who came to Britain during the 5th and 6th centuries, including Angles, Saxons, Frisii, and Jutes.
Daily life was far from easy for people in Anglo-Saxon England. Women especially had a high mortality rate because of the dangers of pregnancies, miscarriages and childbirth.
Everyone in the age would always wear extremely modest clothing. The common garment for a man was the robe gathered at the waist, completed by hose and soft sandals. The same was for the woman, except their dress extended to the feet. Usually then men would hide short spears under their clothing for added protection.
Only about 30,000 lines of poetry from the age have survived to this time, and the epic poem "Beowulf" makes up a large portion of that.
British resistance to the 'Anglo Saxon' invaders in the second half of the fifth century ended with the Anglo Saxon's victory at the battle of Mount Badon. After the British were defeated, though, the Angles and the Saxons continued to fight over their religion for many years.
It originated as a pagan saga transmitted orally from one generation to the next, and court poets known as ‘scops' were the bearers of tribal history and tradition.
Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, men played a dominant role in society. They were seen as the central leaders in their society.
Although not much is written on the role of women in the Anglo-Saxon era, a few texts such as Beowulf and “The Wife’s Lament” demonstrate their role in society.
Little writing remains
Some heroic poetry and Christian poetry
Anglo-Saxon women played a specific roles in their society. One of these roles was that of a peace weaver. A peace weaver was a woman who was married off to make peace between warring tribes.
Spoke Old English
Christian, but valued heroic ideals/traditional values
Desired richness, power, and heroic actions of warriors
Beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon Playing a Role in Poems
Being a Hero in the Anglo-Saxon Period
In Anglo-Saxon culture and literature, to be a hero was to be a warrior.
A hero had to be strong, intelligent, bold, fearless, loyal, showing indifference to pain, and courageous. Warriors had to be willing to face any odds, and fight to the death for their glory and people. The Anglo-Saxon hero was able to be all of these and still be humble and kind.
Strong nature presence
Strength of the warrior
Both Beowulf and Hrothgar mention God
Grendel is portrayed as Lucifer
Grendel is described as the son or descendant of Cain. (Biblical Reference)
This is EPIC!!!
Beowulf is the most well-known epic of the Anglo-Saxon period.
An epic could be described as a hero's journeys and heroic deeds
The Lord of the Rings
The heroic code values such attributes as:
*Works such as Deor, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and other poems follows the same basic theme as Beowulf.*
A brief lesson on the early history of the Anglo-Saxons and the influences on the early epic poem "Beowulf."
Good Vs. Evil
Gods or creatures
Fate or extinction of race
Most Famous of Germanic poems
Written between 400-1000
The Author remains unknown, but many scholars say there were multiple and they were most likely christian
For example, here are the first few lines of our Anglo-Saxon text, Beowulf, read in the original Old English. (we will be reading a translation!)