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English Literature (intimately)
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||10 200|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||35.2|
|Priemerná známka:||2.94||Rýchle čítanie:||58m 40s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||88m 0s|
The Old Germanic virtue of mutual loyalty between leader and followers is evoked effectively and touchingly in the aged Beowulf's sacrifice of his life and in the reproaches heaped on the retainers who desert him in this climactic battle. The extraordinary artistry with which fragments of other heroic tales are incorporated to illumine the main action, and with which the whole plot is reduced to symmetry, has only recently been fully recognised.
Another feature of Beowulf is the weakening of the sense of the ultimate power of arbitrary fate. The injection of the Christian idea of dependence on a just God is evident. That feature is typical of other Old English literature, for monastic copyists preserved almost all of what survives. Most of it was actually composed by religious writers after the early conversion of the people from their faith in the older Germanic divinities.
Sacred legend and story were reduced to verse in poems resembling Beowulf in form. At first such verse was rendered in the somewhat simple, stark style of the poems of Caedmon, a humble man of the late 7th century who was described by the historian and theologian Saint Bede the Venerable as having received the gift of song from God. Later the same type of subject matter was treated in the more ornate language of the Anglo-Saxon poet Cynewulf and his school. The best of their productions is probably the passionate “Dream of the Rood.”
In addition to these religious compositions, Old English poets produced a number of more or less lyrical poems of shorter length, which do not contain specific Christian doctrine and which evoke the Anglo-Saxon sense of the harshness of circumstance and the sadness of the human lot. “The Wanderer” and “The Seafarer” are among the most beautiful of these group of Old English poems.
Prose in Old English is represented by a large number of religious works. The imposing scholarship of monasteries in northern England in the late 7th century reached its peak in the Latin work Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People, 731) by Bede. The great educational effort of Alfred, king of the West Saxons, in the 9th century produced an Old English translation of this important historical work and of many others, including De Consolatione Philosophiae (The Consolation of Philosophy), by Boethius. This was a significant work of largely Platonic philosophy easily adaptable to Christian thought, and it has had great influence on English literature.
Middle English Period
Extending from 1066 to 1485, this period is noted for the extensive influence of French literature on native English forms and themes.