Monday 30 March 2020

Anglo-saxon Poetry characteristics , features , notes

Write a note on Anglo-Saxon poetry, What are the characteristics of Anglo-Saxon poetry? Discuss

Anglo-saxon Poetry characteristics , features , notes

The Anglo-Saxon invaders , who came to Britain in the later part of the 5th century were the founders of what we can properly call , English literature . The literature of Anglo-Saxon period is intelligible to the present day. English man and more to a foreigner. The earliest literature of the Anglo-Saxon was oral and it passed down by the words of mouth from one generation to the other. After the coming of Christian missionaries the Roman Alphabet was introduced in England and written literature came into existence. The old English Literature of the Anglo-Saxon period is more enriched in poetical output then prose, but only a portion of old English poetry has survived some thirty thousand lines in four manuscript.

Characteristics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Though the literature of the Anglo-Saxon period laid certain common Characteristics of the period Anglo-Saxon poetry can be brought and divided into two groups

(I)    Pagan poetry
(II)    Religious or Christian poetry

As an example of Pagan poetry mention, may be made of Deor, Widsith and many other poetry however the name of poets of these poem’s are unknown. As an example of religious poetry we can out to the poems of Caedmon and Cynewulf who were Christian, Caedmon was a god gifted person and his poems were genesis , exedus and Daniel Cynewulf’s master pieces were Elene , Dream of the Christ, Juliana and Judith these poems deals with love , adventure, death , separation , emotion and sentiment.

Both these type possess certain characteristics is common. The following are some of them.

(i)    Love of War : 
Old English poetry can be called war poetry , it deals with war, adventure ,heroic deeds and glory. It speaks of the leadership of the hero and obedience of the subjects. The war poems of this period may be referred to as national poems. The fight at Finsburg, the Battle of Maldon are the example of this type.

(ii)    Heroic poetry : 

Anglo-Saxon poetry is made by a root of heroism. It is the product of a Pagan heroic society. It describe the heroism of the people Beowulf is the poetry of the heroic deeds of the hero of the same name .

(iii)    Love of freedom :

 Freedom, was the breath of the old English poetry. The Anglo Saxon and Jutes were brave and courageous, sea robbers and warriors , they loved freedom and were ready to sacrifice their lives for it. Not only in Beowulf but also in Widsith and Deor’s Lament this note in Pre-dominant Beowulf is fond of personal freedom and glory he takes the risk against the fire dragon to make himself and the nation from bondage it is for the sake of glory that Beowulf undertaken the daring of Adventure .

(iv)    Responsive To nature :

 Anglo-Saxon poetry shows the association of the people with nature they were brought up in the bossom of the natural landscape . They were sea-robbers and they always heard the call of the sea. They developed in them a sea-sickness and they fascinated for the sea. They liked to associate with nature in their beautiful and calm mood.
(v)    Strong Religious Convictions :

 Old English poetry was deeply religious , the people were easy and simple and always prayed to God ,the pagan Worshipped the Goddess of Earth , Moon , The Sun , The air and Water . Later on the pagan literature was modified by the Christian moves to establish their literature with Christian sentiments.

(vi)    Respect for Womanhood : 

Respect for woman was another important aspect of Anglo-Saxon poetry . The Anglo-Saxon had great respect for woman and look them as their Mother. In Anglo-Saxon poetry we find romantic love between Man and woman. It depicts men’s hatred for Woman’s freedom and chastity.

(vii)    Adoration For Heroisy :

 Old English Poetry speaks of people adoration for heroism , timid people had no place in the society. Life was nothing for the sake of role and community Beowulf not only possessed physical coverage he had also may other qualities .

(viii)    Community History :

 Old English Poetry were narrative poetry . They tell us the history of a particular Men and the society he lives in the lineage of the hero. The nature of the society , Hero’s relationship with society etc, find in the poem it neglects the society everytime.

(ix)    Ellegiac note:

 Old English poetry shows an elegiac note in it. There is a bit of mourn songs in the old English poetry. It reveals men’s sorrow and honour for the dead heroes it recalls the activate of the dead which cast a gloomy spell. The wandered is one of the striking example of this kind where man mourn for the loss of good and the death of his lord. 

(x)    Love and separation : 

Some poems like wife’s complaint strive a personal elegiac note . It tells us  how a wife loves her husband and how she is trearmented at his deperature.

(xi)    Christianity : 

Most of the Anglo-Saxon poetry showed a Christian note the poem of Caedmon and Cynewulf are few of Christian qualities salvation is the main theme of their poem .




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