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St. Michael's College Courses
Alexandra Bolintineanu

Christianity and Literature- -Context of time and place and Christianity overall. -Chaucer /King Helda. Roman Britain (43-410 A.D) -“Old English”- 700-1066 A.D. “The Work of Giants” 5 -6 century. King Edwin and the Sparrow Paulinus’ mission to king Edwin (7 c. Northumbria) What life was like before Christianity  Like a bird flying from woven lands. 7 -8 Centuries  Warrior Culture: Tacitus on the comitatus -Sutton Hoo -Prittlewell  Christianity and the monasteries -The Lindisfarne Gospels Comitatus  Warrior band & lord. It was very important in their culture to fight to the last man. There was an unbreakable bond. To see your lord die and survive was a big shame.  Battle Malden. The Exeter Book -One of four major poetic codices surviving from Anglo-Saxon England (960-970) 10 century. th th -Acquired for Exeter Cathedral by Bishop Leofric in the 11 century. -30 individual poetic texts, 90 riddles -The Wife’s Lament, The Wanderer, Advent Lyrics Advent Lyrics: VII and VIII (From Christ I) -The meaning Christ’s birth has for humanity VII- dialogue between Joseph and Mary The wanderer- An elegy/wisdom poem. ANHAGA- “Solitary One” The loneliness of the solitary’s position is emphasized by the nostalgic thoughts of previous days in the company of others. th th Most writers are from the 7 /8 c. A.D : BONIFACE, EUSEBIUS, ALDHELM Riddles about random household items. ObjectsBibleConcepts (wide range) Page 87- Riddle 46—Story of Lot. It makes you think about it (contemplate). 1 Boniface Riddles as poetry Aldhelm explore possibility of Latin verse, contemplate the nature of creation . Battle of Wits. Books to teach young monks how to speak Latin. Aelfric Bata Colloquy. Keep audience on toes. Puzzles help audience sharpen wits. Why in a monastery? 1. As poetry 2. As puzzles 3. Aids to contemplation. Caedmon- foundation of English Literature as harmony between religion and creation/poetry. THE DREAM OF THE ROOD *Imagery of light- when/how/why he talks about light ** repetitions and parallels between Dreamer/Rood/Christ -Lyric Poem. Religious meditation Structure:  Dreamer: vision of golden/wounded cross.  A bleeding cross sense of sin/guilt  Cross tells its story. Line 27-30 – violent transformation and suffering in the human world.  Crucifixion in obedience to its lord. Cross participates in his slaying.  Wounds burial: Christ & Cross.  “Resurrection” and the ascension of the Cross.  Urges dreamer to tell story  Rehearses salvation history from fall to Last Judgement  Invites Dreamer and all faithful souls to imitate Christ and seek the way of the cross  Dreamer awakens with renewed hope and devotion  Remembers Crucifixion, Redemption  Harrowing of HellNicodemus book. Jesus went to Hell and took all the righteous souls up to Heaven. A “warrior” Christ. Harrowing of Hell  the rescue. Before his death Imagines Christ’s journey back home.  The tree of the cross came from a seed from the tree of Good and Evil.  The tree of life  Initial position of dreamer in the dark. 2 KENNING- common metaphor. Compound noun.  Ocean = Whale Road  Voice Bearers = humans There’s another one who speaks when all the humans are silent. Dream visions are messages from God. Common – Actual messages from God (e.g. Daniel) Bede = Dreicham & Perseius A religious message forthcoming. Emphasis on covering. Poetry is a “covering” of a real central truth in verbal ornament. 27-56 Christ as a warrior hero Strip themselves and fight. Christ unclothes of his divinity. Heroic Culture: Comitatus (war band) Utterly loyal to its lord. HOWEVER this is a pagan image to portray the crucifixion. Courtly Love- Knight to Lady Christ is the best knight. Trying to express devotion. The Cross + All of Creation is commitatus to Christ. 1. Show to the world what Christ has done 2. Accomplice to killing its Lord (Tacitus) “Rather die than survive its lord” 3. The cross and Christ as one. UNC- between “I” and “Us” in Old English PROSOPOPOEIA – a voice to the voiceless. Allow it to speak. The speech of the cross. Enemy = people Cross beset by humanity. Cut him down. Not letting down Christ. Not organized by rhyme but alliteration (sounds)  repetition of consonants with a line of verse. 1 half line ___ 2 Half Line. 1 word with a consonant – c echoes Brightest of Beams  Beautiful Alliteration to stress words. Line 44 ***Line 52 FIRST MENTION OF CHRIST. Line 62 – wounded with arrows riddle imagery 63—65 “Weary” begins and “weary” ends it. He’s dead but it’s temporary (rested) 3 In his death, he has overcome death 66—the Cross IS the slayer Thane } Anglo-Saxon Warrior Retainer Elena, mother of Constantine found the Cross “Story” a part of the Cross reached Anglo-Saxon England. 81-82 “Honoured” returns to the image of the cross at the beginning. The garments as well Allusion to baptism through clothing 100 Adam tasted death Jesus tasted death THROUGH the tree Dream inspired by cross’ great zeal. “Elne micle” (great courage) LINKS • 34 OF CHRIST • 60 of the CROSS • 123 of DREAMER Earth was a temporary home. Real home = heaven (Native land- line 156) Where did this poem appear? 1). 8 c. Ruthwell Cross in Northumbria (Scotland). To get it on must ask for the key of the Parish priest). In Runes (runes titulus) DR 11. 39-43, 44-45, 48-49, 56-59, 62-64 Runic alphabet also function as letters/symbols There are differences in Runic Alphabet BUT Runes = Pagan Gregory X tells Augastan not to destroy but to construct on top of what’s already there. Therefore he wrote in pagan alphabet a C
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