Download Old English Literature: A Short Introduction (Blackwell by Daniel Donoghue PDF

By Daniel Donoghue

This cutting edge and interesting advent to outdated English literature is established round what the writer calls ‘figures’ from Anglo-Saxon tradition: the Vow, the corridor, the Miracle, the Pulpit, and the coed. An cutting edge and fascinating advent to previous English literature. dependent round ‘figures’ from Anglo-Saxon tradition: the Vow, the corridor, the Miracle, the Pulpit, and the coed. Situates previous English literary texts inside of a cultural framework. Creates new connections among various genres, sessions and authors. Combines shut textual research with old context. according to the author’s decades adventure of educating outdated English literature. the writer is co-editor with Seamus Heaney of Beowulf: A Verse Translation (2001) and lately released with Blackwell girl Godiva: A Literary historical past of the Legend (2003).

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Additional info for Old English Literature: A Short Introduction (Blackwell Introductions to Literature)

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As the “ealdorman” of Essex, Byrhtnoth held one of the most powerful political positions in England after the king, and it would have fallen under his responsibilities to see to the defense of towns like Maldon. The Vikings had set up camp on an island separated by a water channel from the mainland, where Byrhtnoth summoned the local fyrd or militia to supplement his own personal retinue that formed the core of the defending force. After an exchange of challenges and a skirmish on the causeway connecting the island to the mainland, Byrhtnoth allowed the Vikings to cross over so that the two armies could begin a pitched battle.

In fact despite Beowulf’s rhetorical dismantling of Unferth, which he caps off with a charge of fratricide, neither the modern reader nor the audience in Heorot is in any position to judge the truth claims of one man’s account against the other. But Beowulf has the last word, after which the Danes turn with laughter (hleahtor) to their feast. Despite all the talking in Beowulf, not many lines in total are given over to vows. Even so, it is clear that everyone, excluding the monsters, holds them solemn.

The poem ends with a short passage incorporating the five runic letters 5, 3, 7, 4 and 2 (sigel, rad, ear, wynn and monn), which seem to be all that the stick has carved on it, but they comprise such an enigmatic combination that their interpretation has inspired a good deal of fruitless scholarly speculation. They cannot be arranged into any pertinent word. The Old English names for the runes can be set in certain configurations as separate words or compounds, but not in a way that makes obvious sense as a message.

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