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  • Jeramy Dodds. Spears and Stones. Holly Meadowes. Sisterhood of the Blue Storm. David Rain. The View From the Cart. Rebecca Tope. Vengeance Book3- Dragon Riders. RD Le Coeur. To cause something to break noisily into a lot of small pieces: Rioters ran through the city centre smashing windows and looting shops. Footnotes 1. Lady Augusta Gregory. The pronunciation of the two most important names has been given you. In early times rushes were used to cover the floor for warmth. Setanta would bit the ball a head of him, throw the hurling stick after it, then run and catch them before they reached the ground.

    Former king of Ulster, who gave up the throne to Conchubar. The druids were members of an ancient Celtic religious order, often teachers and philosophers as well as assistants to the priests. Hound animal. Reading Comprehension Questions 1. For what qualities besides physical strength is Cuchulain praised?

    The Celtic people are known for their imagination, their love of nature, of colour and beauty, of the supernatural, of exaggeration, of humour. Of which of these do you find evidence in this Cuchulain story? What other stories of the past do you know in which the heroes have superhuman strength or skill?

    Fann of the Sidhe. Weapons: Cruaiden Cadatchenn his hereditary sword, His Crimson throwing shield.

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    His divine lineage includes the fact that he was an ancestor of the Dagda - the good god, and son of Lugh the sun god or god of light. The heat of his body could melt snow and ice for yards around, he glowed red and when he dipped his body in water to bathe the water hissed and turned to steam. He could send himself into a battle fury where he had. He had supernatural powers. Three colours of hair had he; next to his skin the hair was brown, in the middle it was red; on the outside it was like a diadem of gold; comparable to yellow gold was each glittering long curling splendid beautiful thread of hair, falling freely down between his shoulders.

    About his neck were a hundred tiny links of red gold flashing, with pendants hung from them. His headgear was adorned with a hundred different jewels. On either cheek he had four moles, a yellow, a green, a blue and a red. In either eye he had seven pupils, sparkling like seven gems.

    He wore his gorgeous raiment for great gatherings; a fair crimson tunic of five plies all. The champion carried a trusty special shield coloured dark crimson with a pure white silver rim all around its circumference; at his left side hung a long golden hilted sword. Beside him in his chariot was a lengthy spear, together with a keen aggressive javelin fitted with a hurling thong and rivets of white bronze.

    In one hand he carried nine heads and nine more in the other; he held these heads as emblems of his valour and skill in arms, and at the sight of him the opposing army shook with terror. The story takes place in Denmark and southern Sweden, sometime in the early 6th century, and there is no mention in it of England. But it took its final form only after Germanic tribes from near Denmark had crossed over to Britain, probably in the 7th century.

    The earliest written copy that we have was not made until about Told first by pagan people, the story has many references to the pagan Wyrd, or Fate. But it has, also, references to Christ and Christianity, these references added later by the Christian monks who wrote it down. So, early as the written story is, its roots go down still deeper into the past by several years.

    An epic poem Beowulf is the type of narrative poem known as an epic, that is, a long dignified poem which recounts the struggle of great forces against each other. Here Good is pitted against Evil as the hero Beowulf fights against one evil force after another. The form of Anglo — Saxon verse The first English poem is written in the most common Anglo-Saxon verse form, which is alliterative — that is, the music of the poetry depends, not on rhymes at the ends of lines, but on similar sounds at the beginnings of words alliteration.

    Each line has four strong beats or accents, and there is an obvious break in the middle of the line. Because of this break the line is sometimes spoken of as a double-barrelled line, and the break is sometimes indicates by the way in which the poem is printed as above. Though each line has two distinct parts, with two beats in each, it is held together by the alliteration, at least one word in the first part always alliterating with al least one word in the second part.

    Beowulf consists of at least three separate stories, each recounting an exploit of the hero against a monster or dragon. The first story — of his encounter with Grendel is given here. But evil days fell upon him and his people. Two beastlike monsters of superhuman size and strength, a male and a female, began to haunt the hall.

    Nightly Grendel, the male, came down upon Heorot, ravaging and slaughtering the warriors. For twelve years terror stalked the land. The fierce Grendel devours as many as 30 warriors at one time. Denmark to destroy Grendel. Beowulf and fourteen other warriors make the journey to Denmark. Hrothgar gladly welcomes Beowulf and his men. A feast is held to honor Beowulf.

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    Beowulf responds that he was attacked by many sea monsters during the contest and killed them all. After the feast, Hrothgar and his men leave the hall to sleep; Beowulf and his warriors remain to guard the hall. In the night, Grendel enters the hall, attacking and devouring one of the sleeping warriors.

    The injured monster flees back to his den in the nearby marsh. Beowulf is not sleeping in the hall that night and does not find out about the attack until the next morning. In the morning, Hrothgar leads Beowulf and the other warriors to the marsh. As the monster begins to overwhelm Beowulf, the warrior sees an old sword in the lair. He then sees the weakened Grendel lying nearby. As Beowulf swims to the surface, the sword begins to melt until only the head and hilt remain. Beowulf then leaves Denmark for his own homeland. Once back to the land of the Geats, Beowulf is rewarded with riches and is honored by Hygelac, the leader of the Geats.

    Many years pass, and Beowulf himself eventually become the leader of the Geats. Although he is old, Beowulf decides to fight the dragon. The dra-. The poem ends with the Geats mourning the death of their great leader. Beowulf The coming of Beowulf Brave was the band he had gathered about him, fourteen stalwarts seasoned and bold, seeking the shore where the ship lay waiting, a sea skilled mariner sighting the landmarks.

    Came the hour of boarding; the boat was riding. The waves of the harbour under the hill, the eager mariners mounted the prow; billows were breaking, sea against sand. Gleaming armour and battle-gear; launched the vessel, the well-braced bark, seaward bound on a joyous journey.

    The sea was crossed, the voyage ended, the vessel moored. And the Weder people 1 waded ashore with clatter of trappings and coats of mail; gave thanks to god that his grace had granted sea-paths safe for their ocean-journey. How Hrothgar received Beowulf The Danish coastguard challenged them, but, on being assured of their friendly purpose, led them to Heorot. Then in the beer-hall were benches made ready. For the Geatish heroes, noble of heart, proud and stalwart, they sat them down, And a beer-thane served them; bore in his hands. Then Hrothgar with drew with his host of retainers The prince of the Seyldings, 4 seeking his queen The Geatish hero put all his hope In his fearless might and the mercy of god!

    Footnotes: 1. Weder people. Another name for the Geats Beowulf and his men 2. A drink made with honey and water and yeast or malt. He sang to the accompaniment of a harp.

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    A warrior related to his king by tribal descent and bound to do him service…. Grab take with hand. Track path. Ash powder the soft grey or black powder that is left after a substance, especially tobacco, coal or wood, has burnt: cigarette ash An area that is strongly defended by a military group. Slay past slain. Reading Comprehension questions 1. What qualities does he have in common with Cuchulain? How do the two heroes differ? The early English 1. What is their feeling toward the sea? Toward their leaders? The poem 1.

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    What justification is there for calling Beowulf an English poem? What evidence do you find that the poet who finally wrote the poem down was a Christian? What references to the pagan Wyrd, or fate? These phrases are called kennings. What other kennings can you find?

    Which of the following words describe the sound and rhythm of the poem-smooth, abrupt, vigorous, and delicate? Find descriptions that you like especially. What kinds of things does the poet seem most to enjoy describing? He is the son of Scyld Shefing, and a strong king in his own right. He is often confused with the hero of the poem. He is a thane of the Geat king Hygelac and eventually becomes King of the Geats.

    The poem relates his heroic exploits over 50 years, including the fights with Grendel and his mother and with the treasureguarding dragon. Hrothgar: King of the Danes. He builds the hall Heorot as a tribute to his people and his reign. Unferth: a Danish warrior. However, Beowulf shames him in the boasting match. Grendel: This man-monster is a descendant of Cain. He attacks Heorot after hearing the sounds of revelry there. Beowulf eventually kills him, with his severed arm hung as a trophy in Heorot. His mother attempts to avenge his death. She comes to Heorot seeking vengeance for the death of her son.

    Beowulf kills her. The Dragon: This is the third and last monster that Beowulf must defeat. After a Geat slave steals from his treasure, he goes on a rampage. Beowulf defeats him, but not before striking a mortal blow to him. Upon his death he is given a remarkable burial at sea. Heorot: This is the hall that Hrothgar builds in celebration of his reign. It is the site both of many happy festivals and many sorrowful funerals. As the watchman for the Danes, he is the first to greet Beowulf and his thanes to the land of the Danes.

    He also deems the Geat visitors as people worthy enough to meet with Hrothgar. He is a Waegmunding by birth and a Geat by marriage. When he was younger, Hrothgar helped him settle a feud with the Wylfingas. Sigemund: He is an ancient Germanic hero whose story is recounted after the fight with Grendel. He was known as the famous dragon slayer. Heremod: He was an ancient Danish king who went from being a good king to a ruthlessly evil king. Hrothgar uses him as an example of bad kingship for Beowulf. Hildeburh: Her story in recounted during the second feast for Beowulf at Heorot.

    She is an ancient Danish princess who was married into the Frisian royalty. Her brother and her son were both killed in a war with the Frisians at Finnesburh. Wealhtheow calls upon him to protect her young sons if it should ever be necessary to do so. It is unable to cut her, however, so Beowulf discards it. Later he returns it to Unferth with his thanks. Freawaru: She is the daughter of Hrothgar who is unmentioned until Beowulf tells Hygelac about her. Beowulf believes that her marriage to a Heathobard prince will do more harm than good for the Danes. Naegling: Beowulf won this sword in a fight between the Geats and the Frisians.

    He uses it in the battle with the dragon. Analysis of Main Characters Beowulf The protagonist of this epic Old English poem is at times sketched in the broad strokes you might expect in a seminal tale about heroes, monsters, battle, revenge, honor and God. But Beowulf is no cartoon character. Rather, this Geatish warrior from southern Sweden is defined by three principal traits: his desire to demonstrate his valor in defense of others, his concern for his lineage and oaths of loyalty, and his religious faith.

    Beowulf: Beowulf is the hero of the epic. He is a renowned Geat warrior who travels to the Danish king Hrothgar to aid him in his fight against Grendel. He also behaves in an exem-. Beowulf become king of the Geats and reigns for fifty years. He continues to behave in a way that all admire. As well as being courageous, he is generous, tactful, kind, prudent, resolute, and even-tempered.

    Even as an old man, he does not shirk his duty when it comes to fighting the dragon. He meets his death with dignity, dying as he had lived, with courage and honor. Beowulf: A Man of Many Values In the epic poem, Beowulf, a monster named Grendel has been invading Heorot, a communal mead hall, and has been killing and devouring the Geat warriors. As their only way to end this massacre, the Geats asked Beowulf to defeat this monstrous beast. Then, Beowulf, after ruling the Geats peacefully for fifty years, faced even a greater challenge: He was relied on by his people to defeat a dragon that was very fierce an Beowulf: The Ultimate Hero A hero is one who places himself or herself at risk for another by performing great deeds of courage.

    Often in our society today, athletes are looked up to as heros. Brett Favre is an excellent example of a modern day hero. He is looked up to by many for his strength, leadership, and success. Favre also gives all of the glory to God. Whenever he has conquered another team, or made the winning play, all praise is g The hero of the poem, Beowulf, is portrayed as an invincible warrior with all the amazing, nonhuman like traits required by an Anglo- Saxon hero.

    He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to defend and put his people before himself at all times. He encounters life ending monsters and ferocious beasts but never fears death while fighting them. Beowulf has great leadership skills and sometimes boasts about all his achieve A Celtic hero Throughout history, many heroes and gods have stood out in Celtic literature. Although many of these heroes are very important, Cuchulainn is the one that is most often represented in Irish culture today. His death is often used as a symbol, appearing on coins and statues.

    His deeds are repeated in literature often, and remains an important symbol to those of Celtic descent, even after all this time. A kenning Old English is used instead of an ordinary noun. The term kenning has been applied by modern scholars to similar figures of speech in other languages too, especially Old English. Some examples: Primary meaning. Alliteration Alliteration is the repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words. See Assonance and Consonance. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds but not consonant sounds as in consonance. Example: fleet feet sweep by sleeping geeks.

    Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowels, as in assonance. Example: lady lounges lazily , dark deep dread crept in Examples of Alliteration Wordsworth: And sings a solitary song That whistles in the wind. The matching or repetition of consonants is called alliteration, or the repeating of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words following each other immediately or at short intervals. A famous example is to be found in the two lines by Tennyson: The moan of doves in immemorial elms, And murmuring of innumerable bees.

    The ancient poets often used alliteration instead of rhyme; in Beowulf there are three alliterations in every line. For example: Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings, Leader beloved, and long he ruled In fame with all folk since his father had gone. Modern poets also avail themselves of alliteration, especially as a substitute for rhyme. Like rhyme, alliteration is a great help to memory. It is powerful a device that prose has borrowed it. This is found in many kinds of poetry, from nonsense rhymes to ballads. The repeated words or syllables add an extra beat and accentuate the rhythm.

    Repetition Repetition of a sound, syllable, word, phrase, line, stanza, or metrical pattern is a basic unifying device in all poetry. It may reinforce, supplement, or even substitute for meter, the other chief controlling factor in the arrangement of words into poetry. The repetition of a phrase in poetry may have an incantatory effect as in the opening lines of T.

    Rhythm Recurrences of stressed and unstressed syllables at equal intervals, similar to meter. However, though two lines may be of the same meter, the rhythms of the lines may be different. However, if one were to read the last line more slowly as it should be read , the meter would be the same but the rhythm different.

    This is because while the meter of a line is identified by the pattern within each foot, the rhythm is accounted for by larger units than individual feet. Oral tradition of literature Stories that are or have been transmitted in spoken form, such as public recitation, rather than through writing or printing. Most pre-literate societies used to have oral literature.

    Poetry Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to its apparent meaning. Poetry may be written independently, as discrete poems, or may occur in conjunction with other arts, as in poetic drama, hymns or lyrics. Unique verse form Free verse poetry writing Free Verse poetry does not have a strict pattern of rhyming. It does not have regular meter, rhyme, fixed line length, or a specific stanza pattern. Rhyme In poetry, a pattern of repeated sounds. Rhyme Scheme The pattern of rhymed words in a stanza or generalized throughout a poem, expressed in alphabetic terms.

    Activity After you have answered all the questions after every reading in this unit , please, answer all the questions from your mind. If you cannot do it, please go back to the materials and start reading again. This activity will give fluency and you improve your English competence. What have you learned from this chapter? What is the historical background of this period? What are the names of the cultures that contribute to the formations of English Culture?

    Is Christianity important in the literary production? Explain this influence? Prepare a summary about Beowulf on your own words unknown author. What are the themes, recurrent elements motifs , symbols in Cuchulain and Beowulf? What are the values in the two main characters: Cuchulain and Beowulf? What literary devices does Cuchulain use in the plot? What literary devices does Beowulf use? Bibliography 1. Robinson, Nell M. Literature of England, , Ginn and Company. John McRae. Reading between the Lines. Cambridge University Press.

    Ronald Carters. Literature and the Learner: Methodological Approaches. British Council. Seymour Chatman. Literary Styles: A Symposium. Oxford University Press. Cleanth Brooks. Understanding Poetry. Yale University. Alan Duff. Marjorie Westcott. Drama I. Macmillan Company. Michael Cummings. The Language of Literature. Pergamum Press. Harner, James L. Literary research guide: a guide to reference sources for the study of literatures in English and related topics. Abrams, M. Glossary of literary terms. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Altick, Richard Daniel. The art of literary research.

    New York: Norton, Barzun, Jacques. The modern researcher. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Baugh, Albert Croll. A literary history of England. New York: Appleton-CenturyCrofts, The Cambridge guide to literature in English. Ian Ousby. Revised Edition. The Cambridge history of English literature. Ward, A.

    New York; London: Putnam, Harmon, William; Holman, C. A handbook to literature. A Dictionary of modern critical terms. Roger Fowler. Be informed about the historical background of Medieval England. Value the literary production of this period 3. Recognise the themes, the recurrent structures motifs and the symbols behind the masterpieces. Learn some literary terms that characterise the Medieval literary production. During the reign of the Danish Canute in England, Edward has lived in France at the Norman court, and when he came back to England as king, he brought many Normans with him, giving them some of the most important positions at court and in the Church.

    This established a Norman faction in the country, which became more and more powerful during the weak rule of Edward. For Edward was a very weak king; he lacked utterly the kingly qualities oh his great ancestor Alfred. The Saxon earls rose in oppositions to the Norman intruders. Vikings from Norway began a new series of the north. When, in , William landed on the south coast of England near Hastings, a great battle was fought, Harold was defeated and killed, his army was routed — and the Normans became the new conquerors of England.

    As the Romans had done a thousand years before him, William pushed his way northward and westward, building, not roads and walls and villas like the Romans, but enormous stout castles. The oldest part of the Tower of London was built by William — to defend the city from any possible attack up the Thames River, and all over England there are still sturdy thick-walled castles built by the Normans.

    How the coming of the Normans changed life in England With the coming of the Normans there began a new way of life in England. Though the Norman conquerors were of the same basic stock as the early English, they were, by the time they crossed into England with William, quite a different people. They were descendants of Scandinavians who had settled in France at about the time their kinsmen were ravaging England, and, though they retained their Scandinavian vitality and love of adventure; they had acquired something of French manners and culture and had learned the French language.

    Hence the influences that they introduced into England were as much French as Scandinavian. Most important for a political development, they brought with them their love of law and order and their great administrative ability. Under them England became more unified, her political organization more stable. The Normans also brought with them the feudal system. What was feudalism? Feudalism was a political and social system common in the Middle Ages, first on the continent, later in England.

    It was based upon the relationship of lord to vassal. At the top of the system was the king, who, theoretically at least, held all the land. Under him, holding land from him and owing homage or allegiance were the nobles dukes or barons and the clergy. Under them in turn were lesser nobles knights , and under them the peasants, or villeins, some free, some bound to the soil and to their respective lords as owners of the soil.

    The system was like a great pyramid with the peasants at the base and the king at the apex, each group owing service to the smaller group above, and, indirectly, to the king at the top.

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    Harsh as the system was in some respects and unpopular with the freedom-loving English, it did enable the Norman conquerors to rivet to maintain the country together as it had never been joined before. Chivalry, an outgrowth of feudalism As an outgrowth of the feudal system, there grew up an institution known as chivalry. A kind of sense of honour and respect for woman and religion had existed among the ancient Celts and the early English, but it was not until the Normans came to England that these social and moral forces were organized into an elaborate set of rules and regulations.

    During the 12th century there grew up in France a group of romantic stories — some about national heroes, some about the English Arthur and his knights. Told partly in prose and partly in rhymed verse, these stories were called metrical romances. They became very popular in France, were brought over to England by the Normans and, after being translated, became popular with the English too.

    In fact, one of the finest of the metrical romances, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, was written by an Englishman. Thought Norman and Saxon became reconciled to each other only after many years of enmity and hard feeling, very soon after the coming of the Normans the general tone of literature began to be more cheerful. In addition to bringing a new kind of subject matter and a less somber mood into English literature, the Normans also brought a new device for making poetry musical -rhyme.

    Now, thought alliteration was still used, rhyme was introduced — and has continued to be used down through the centuries ever since. The language of England becomes more like modern English But more important to our literature than the bringing of new subject matter, a happier mood, or novel literary devices was the effect which the coming of the Normans to England had upon our language as a whole.

    During the three or four hundred years following the Conquest, the English language was made into that amazingly rich and flexible instrument that was to make possible the poetry of Chaucer, of Shakespeare, of Milton, and the writings of all great English authors and poets since their times.

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    Before there had been two languages current in England — Latin used by the Church and the legal profession and English, in various dialects. Now a third one was added — French. In fact French became the exclusive language of the aristocracy, while Latin remained the language of churchmen and lawyers. English, despised by both groups, continued only as the language of the peasant, and ceased almost entirely to be a written language. So while courtly poetry was being written in French, and. Naturally the language itself became simpler and more flexible. Also it became richer.

    For thought the gentry could, in general, speak only French, and the peasants who worked on their lands could speak only English, in time some French words were picked up into the English language — especially those for which there was no English equivalent. The word chivalry, you have already seen, is of French origin. It was an English not far removed that we use today, and a tool ready to hand for Chaucer, first poet to write in modern English, and for Wycliffe and his followers, first to make a complete translation of the Bible into English.

    Only one can be named with certainty — Geoffrey Chaucer. And he is the only one whose dates we know with fair accuracy: he died in ; he was born, probably, in The author of the long poem the Vision of William concerning Piers Plowman was certainly named William, and probably Langland.

    The story was written about , but by whom we can only guess from the internal evidence of the story itself. Translated into modern prose by Jessie L. Weston The second of our three medieval poets, the unknown author of Sir Gawain and Green Knight, was more modern in his verse from than Langland, less modern in his subject matter. He wrote of king Arthur and his Round Table and courtly life, as was the current Norman style, and he used a strange intricate verse form that was both alliterative, like Anglo-Saxon poetry, and rhymed, like French poetry.

    But though he used the French device of rhyme and based his story, almost certainly, on French sources, his story is quite definitely English. Notice especially the kinds of weather and landscape that he describes and the virtues that he emphasizes in his hero. Though the translation that is given here is in prose, it retains many of the qualities of the original poetry. Notice especially the use of alliteration and the balance of the sentences.

    The Green Knight says that he will allow whomever accepts the challenge to strike him with his own axe, on the condition that the challenger find him in exactly one year to receive a blow in return. To the amazement of the court, the now-headless Green Knight picks up his severed head. Before riding away, the head reiterates the terms of the pact, reminding the young Gawain to seek him in a year and a day at the Green Chapel. After the Green Knight leaves, the company goes back to its festival, but Gawain is uneasy. Time passes, and autumn arrives.

    He puts on his best armor, mounts his horse, Gringolet, and starts off toward North Wales, traveling through the wilderness of northwest Britain. Gawain encounters all sorts of beasts, suffers from hunger and cold, and grows more desperate as the days pass. On Christmas Day, he prays to find a place to hear Mass, then looks up to see a castle shimmering in the distance. The lord of the castle welcomes Gawain warmly, introducing him to his lady and to the old woman who sits beside her. For sport, the host whose name is later revealed to be Bertilak strikes a deal with Gawain: the host will go out hunting with his men every day, and when he returns in the evening, he will exchange his winnings for anything Gawain has managed to acquire by staying behind at the castle.

    Gawain happily agrees to the pact, and goes to bed. The first day, the lord hunts a herd of does, while Gawain sleeps late in his bedchambers. Gawain puts her off, but before she leaves she steals one kiss from him.