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[NEW] Lecture 1 The Old English Period

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[NEW] Lecture 1 The Old English Period

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     ENGLISH LITERATURE

     Lecture One: The Old English Period

     IMPORTANT EVENTS OF THIS PERIOD

     450 AD 597 AD And the C7th Second half of the C7th Second half of the C8th

     Anglo-Saxon Invasion the conversion of the pagan

     n.

     异教徒,无宗教信仰

     Anglo-Saxons began

     Caedmon (凯德蒙 the first English poet, began to sing 凯德蒙), 凯德蒙 many

    religious poems. Beowulf, the first English poem still intact as a whole piece today, was composed in Old English

     1066

     Norman Conquest

     Lecture One: The Old English Period Historical and Cultural Context Literary Terms A. Poetry of the Old English Period 1. Pagan Poetry ? Beowulf 2. Religious Poetry ? Caedmon B. Prose of the Old English Period Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Conclusion

     Historical and Cultural Context 1. Paganism vs Christianity

     Before the spread of Christianity on the British Isles, the people here remained pagans, or heathens. ? The Anglo-Saxons lived in a age of heroes. When these Germanic tribes came to England, they brought with them pagan poetry and pagan spirit. ? Most of the poems were songs about wars, seafaring, and violence in a cruel world with little or no tenderness or joy. Longer poems dealing with this subject are called epic. n. 史诗,叙事诗

     This picture depicts v. 描述 Charlemagne(查 理大帝;, king of the Franks in the

    late 8th century, killing the heathena. 异教徒() Saxons.

     Historical and Cultural Context

     Then St. Augustine(?奥古斯丁), an Italian priest, came in 597 AD, bring with

    him Christianity and classical learning to these isles. n. ,群岛 ? The C7th century

    saw the conversion of the pagan Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. ? Long-rooted pagan traditions and Christian orthodoxies n. 正统说法,正教,信奉正教collided v. 碰撞,

    冲突 and then intermingled v. 混合,搀杂 with each other. This was to be exemplifiedv.

    例证,例示by poems such as Beowulf, which is essential pagan but given a Christian overlay覆盖 when written down by a monk in the C8th.

     Historical and Cultural Contextn. 环境,背景 The Church

     The church was the beacon of light and learning in these early centuries. It was sites of higher learning and the monks were the most learned men at that time. The monks transcribed stories and books, including Beowulf. ? The church was also the nations chroniclersn. 年代记 (记录) , recorders of its history. The Venerable

    Bede, a monk in the C8th, tells us about many things in his Ecclesiastical History, including an account of Caedmon, the first English poet.

     Lecture One: The Old English Period Historical and Cultural Context Literary Terms A. Poetry of the Old English Period 1. Pagan Poetry ? Beowulf 2. Religious Poetry ?

    Caedmon B. Prose of the Old English Period Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Conclusion

     Literary Terms 1. Poetry vs Prose 诗与散文

     Poetry, or Verse, is a form of writing arranged - in lines, each containing a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, or rhythmical pattern (or metrical pattern格律); - or group of lines forming a unit in a rhyme scheme (音韵格式).

     Literary Terms Poetry and Musicality

     rhythm(节奏 or meter格律) and rhyme(音韵), and the musicality of poetry Spring

    / is gay /with flow flow/er and song songs, Summer /is hot /and the day

    /are long Sum days long, Autumn /is rich /with fruit /and grain Au grain, Winter /brings snow /and the new /year again Win gain.

     Literary Terms English language is organized around stress, not syllables. n. 音节

     This is the house that Jack built. (1) to give equal stress to each syllable

    in the French or Chinese way (2) to read it in the English way, stressing two words and unstressing the rest: This is the house that Jack built.

     Literary Terms Half-lines and organization by two stresses per half-line are found in both English poetry and ordinary speech.

     To be or not to be, that is the question. To be or not to be, that is the

    question. If you come to Guangzhou, please let me know. If you come to Guangzhou,

    please let me know.

     Poetry and Musicality

     An Anglo-Saxon minstrel(吟游诗人), singing to the harpn. 竖琴 at feastsn.

    ,

     酒席,节会

     Literary Terms 2. Epic 史诗

     An epic is a long narrative poem telling about the deeds of a great hero and reflecting the values of the society from which it originated. ? Many epics were drawn from an oral tradition and were transmitted by song and recitation before the were written down. ? famous epics in western literature

     Homer's Iliad 荷马的《伊利亚特》 Beowulf 《贝奥武甫》 Miltons Paradise Lost

    弥尔顿《失乐园》

     Terms to be explained 3. Alliteration (Head-Rhyme;头韵 Rhyme (End-Rhyme)

    

     Alliteration: the repetition of the same or similar sounds, usually consonants (辅音), at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables(中毒音节;. ? as in this

    line from Hart Crane 哈特?克兰 on the scrolls of sliver snowy sentences “在

    这写满银色雪般句子的卷轴上” 'Round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran the

    sweet smell of success

     Lecture One: The Old English Period Historical and Cultural Context Literary Terms A. Poetry of the Old English Period 1. Pagan Poetry ? Beowulf 2. Religious Poetry ? Caedmon B. Prose of the Old English Period Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Conclusion

     1. Pagan Poetry

     Features of Pagan Poetry

     Beowulf

     This epic exemplifies the above-mentioned features both in content and in form. ? Beginning and ending with the funeral葬礼() of an great king, and composed against

    a background of impendinga. 逼迫的,迫切的,悬空的 disaster, the epic describes the

    exploits功绩,勋绩 of a Scandinavian cultural hero, Beowulf, in destroying the monster Grendel, Grendels mother, and a fire-spitting dragon. ? a glorious a.

    荣的,辉煌的 hero ? a savior of the people.

     Features of Beowulf

     1. A basically pagan story with an evident Christian overlay. ? For example, God

    or Lord is frequently mentioned as the omnipotent 全能的,无所不能的 supreme

    最高的 being, to whom the people could always turn to. ? The Christian God provides humans with a sense of control over life.

     2. the frequent use of kennings (隐喻语), a kind of 隐喻语), metaphor. ? Kenning,

    a figurative比喻的,形容多的,修饰丰富的 , usually compound expression used in place

    of a name or noun, especially in Old English poetry. whales path 大海 birds joy

    翅膀 swans riding/way “天鹅的路程” (大海) skys candle “天空的蜡烛” (太阳) ?

    the ship sailed away ? the ship/ the sea goer, the wave-floater, set out, started his journey and set forth over the sea, over the ocean-streams, over the waves

     3. The conspicuous显著的,显而易见的 use of alliteration.

     alegdon tha tomidde maerne theoden haeleth hifende hlford leofne ongunnno tha on beorge bael-fyra aest wigend wecn wudu-rec astah sweart ofer swiothole swogende leg

     2. Religious Poetry

     Caedmon

     Lecture One: The Old English Period Historical and Cultural Context Literary Terms A. Poetry of the Old English Period 1. Pagan Poetry ? Beowulf 2. Religious Poetry ? Caedmon B. Prose of the Old English Period Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Conclusion

     Conclusion Anglo-Saxon literature is principally poetic, largely because its continuity depended on the minstrel 游诗人(或歌手) or the singer. This poetry does

    not use rhyme; it is alliterative. It is composed in half-lines, each of which usually contains two stressed syllables. This poetry records the life of the first English people and reflects their emotional responses life.

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