Beowulf 9/12/2013 10:26:00 AM
Before Christianity there had been no books in Anglo-Saxon.
Poetry and readings handled by the literate people who ran the church. Early
poetry dominantly in Latin.
Introduction to Beowulf, p. 36:
Early manuscript recused from burning building.
Germanic forebears rather than English and native speaking English
It is an epic/heroic poem: applied to a work the meets the following
criteria: long verse narrative, serious subject, told in formal and
evaluated style, heroic or divine figure on whose actions depends
the fate of a tribe, a nation, or the human race.
The fate of the Deans and the protagonists own tribe is at stake.
Line 26: ceremonies, the death of Shield. The king
o How is death being handled? Why does the poem end and
begin in death?
Treasures that are buried with the dead that reflect
aspects of their life to provide needs for the afterworld.
Ways to make sense of death, package it into a larger
narrative. A ritual and ceremony adds boarder
Attitude towards treasure: a glue in society. Treasure
also holds insignificance.
Relationship of the warrior and his lord. The lord is
generous to his warriors. Lord gives treasure and
warriors give protection.
Everyone knows that death will come to them.
End of the poem: significant death, attended by two
Significance of art