English literature: Old English Period (500-1066) set III

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concise
In addition to alliteration, a technique used to ensure that a poem could be remembered was a _________ narrative style that focused on succinctly telling a story without encumbering it with unnecessary details.

A classic example comes from Beowulf. In this poem, the entire story is told without flowery descriptions, focusing instead on the details needed to keep the plot moving.

allusion
When an author or work refers directly or by implication to an event, person, or other work of literature, this is known as __________.
Beowulf
As evidenced by characters Hrothgar and Freawaru, this passage is an excerpt of the 28th section from the epic poem _________.

There are several clues that this passage is from Beowulf. Hrothgar, King of the Danes, is a prominent character in Beowulf. His daughter, Freawaru, is less prominent. Other notable characters are Beowulf (the hero), Grendal (the monster), Grendel’s mother, and a dragon.

kenning
The kenning is a combination of two well-known words (at least well known in Old English) to create a new word, in the same way that we might say “blue-blood” to refer to British royalty. Other examples from Old English literature would be “whale-path” for sea, or “battle-sweat” for blood.
alliteration
The phrases “The liegemen we lusty; my life-days never” (line 1) and “people’s peace-bringer, passed through the call” (line 4) both use __________ as a device to make the poem easier to recite from memory.
heroic
The story of Beowulf is noteworthy because of its length and narrative skill. It is also a classic example of Old English Literature because of its glorification of the ______ ideal.
cross
In a modern translation of the Dream of the Rood, the “wood tower” refers to the _____ of Jesus Christ.

The Dream of the Rood is specifically about the crucifixion of Jesus. It takes artistic license to expound upon the Cynewulf’s interpretation of events—in the process applying the heroic ideal to Jesus, and emphasizing the pain that the cross felt while bearing Jesus.

Deor
A poem lamenting the poet’s fall from favor by his lord compares the supposed author, _____, to various figures from historical mythology.
Judith
In one poem (attributed by some to be written by Cynewulf or Caedmon), the heroine cuts off the head of a foreign general, inspiring the Hebrew army to defeat the Assyrians. ________ is based on an Apocryphal account of the same name.
translation
The Old English literature we read and understand today is all the result of ___________ by various scholars. Even then, without the help of researchers, it is often difficult to perceive much of the meaning of certain passages, words, and phrases.

Without a ___________, written forms of Old English literature are unintelligible for several reasons. First, the pronunciation of various sounds associated with vowels and consonants have changed over the centuries. Second, the spellings have changed—along with the morphing of the sounds. Third, the meanings of entire words have changed or been lost over the ages. As a result, the untrained reader cannot comprehend the average excerpt of literature from the Old English period.

Categories: English Literature