Further History


Anglo Saxon poetry

1-    Pagan verse [7th]

2-    With Christian themes [11th]


The Anglo Saxon Chronicle

1-     Told the story of the Anglo Saxons

2-     Showed development of old English to middle English.


1066 –

1-    Normans came into England [North men]

2-     They took Britain and the Anglo disappeared

3-     The language disappeared as well they spoke French and Latin.

4-     The Normans shot the last Anglo Saxon king with an arrow in the eye.


French Poetry In England

1-    Verse was very heavy/ strong beat

2-     Had French humor with light and color

3-     They knew Latin and Greek Authors.

e.g. they didn’t know the Greek Odyssey they knew Latin Ulysses.


Geoffrey of Monmouth:

1-    Wrote big book on the history of Britain, which was translated in French and later in English. [It tells the story of king Arthur]

2-     King Arthur is not real, but Geoffrey thought he was his idea of great English Kings.

3-     He entered French word in the English language, like ‘despair’ instead of ‘wanhope’, which was Anglo Saxon and meant No Hope.


Dr. Johnson: in 18th Century, influence of French/ Latin.

[Old English] “Has not enough wit to keep it sweet”

[Influenced] “Has insufficient vitality to preserve it from purification”


First English Lyric came, Alison.


There were short lyrics or very religious poems, though the only ones that were special were:

1-     The owl and the Nightingale.

2-     Pearl [it was a Lament – a song of sadness]

3-     Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [alliterative, with stanzas, bob and wheel]


Alliteration disappeared but they brought it back in 1375- 1400


Bob: it is the 2-syllable line after the stanza.

Wheel: it is the 3 stresses or 4 stresses after the stanza

Troth: is a pledge you make for your God or your king.

Chivalry: gentleman.



Old English Poetry


Poetry : 1- some were oral [spoken]

                 2- some were written.

·         They were written in Latin because it was the language of the Holy Church Of Rome, and language of Christianity. They were kept in Monasteries because Monks wrote them.


Anglo Saxon Poetry


-    Heroic Style: A king who has some thanes, [worrior], takes care of them. When he dies, [murdered], these thanes have to avenge him.  Wergild, wer = man, gild = price, it is the same as Blood Vengeance.

-          Adaptation/Syncretism

-          Riddles

-          Alliteration / Head Rhymes: the rhymes come in the beginning.

-          Synecdoche: a part of something is used to represent something else.

-          Kennings: using to different and separate words, and joining them to form one word. E.g. knight-helmet = darkness

-          Personification

-          Irony: like in Beowulf, the actions of the hero though praised in the poem it is actually the opposite of the writers intention. Battle-play = battle fight.

-          Litotes: an understatement.


Old English



·         They lived in a cold wet climate, which makes their grass green

·         They had 4 seasons and it was often injected in their poems

·        ARCADIA is another word for paradise, and they reckoned it was where they’re living in.


·         They like to break rules

·         “English men will never be slaves, they are free to do what the government tells them to and public opinion too.” Irish Poet

·         Shakespeare breaks the rules in his literature

·        English literature is all about creating/breaking rules.


·         It is foreign

·         Old English: [9th, 10th] came from the Anglo Saxons

·        Middle English: [14th] came from East Midland and London.



A bit of History


·         The Romans called the country Britannia, we call them Celts.

·         They had their own language

·         Then the Roman Empire fell, the reason where the Goths and Vandals.

·         They did not invade Britannia, they caused the other Europeans to do so. [German]

·         Germanic, had gods they believed in, like Thor = Thursday, Wooden = Wednesday. Freya = Friday.

·        Monks were the ones that wrote everything down. They wrote on Manuscripts and kept them in Monasteries.



        He wrote the history of the Church. He also spoke about Kaedmon’s Hymn and said that Kaedmon couldn’t sing on the spot. Kaedmon then had a dream about an angel coming to him and telling to sing a special hymn. So later Kaedmon, went back to their pub and sang that hymn.