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Give your own examples of alliteration.
I. In his “Visions of Piers Plowman
II. Read the legend “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Be ready to have a short quiz!
Prologue to The Vision Concerning Piers Plowman (B version)
Qui turpiloquium loquitur
Class 2. “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer
Direct and indirect characterization
Example: Кармелит – Friar
Вдове разутой, что рука ее
Choose a character
Present your poster.
Examples of the questions
Wife of Bath's Tale
Class 1. Old English and Middle English Literature
Hwät! we Gâr-Dena in geâr-dagum
þeód-cyninga þrym gefrunon,
hû þâ äðelingas ellen fremedon.
Define the following terms:
State the difference between epic poem and novel.
Read Mikhail Bakhtin's work and find out features of epic poem (Бахтин М. Эпос и роман (О методологии исследования романа) // http://www.gumer.info/bibliotek_Buks/Literat/bahtin/epos_roman.php
How does “Beowulf” fit the definition of an epic? Be sure to define an epic, and mention Beowulf’s context in Anglo-Saxon society, the Anglo-Saxon earthly virtues and the characteristics of an epic hero.
Battle of Maldon has been called the greatest battle poem in English. It is an Anglo-Saxon (Old English) poem by an unknown poet. It describes a battle between the English and Viking warriors from Denmark in ad 991 at Maldon in Essex on the River Blackwater, then called the River Pantan.
The Danish invaders are on the island of Northey at the mouth of the river waiting for the tide to go out. Byrhtnoth, the earl of Essex, is at the head of the English warriors on the mainland. A messenger from the Danes offers peace if they pay a sum of money. Byrhtnoth, however, rejects the offer. Then the tide begins to go out and Byrhtnoth, far too confident, is tricked into letting the enemy cross to the mainland.
Read a modern English verse translation. Then look at the first part again in the original Anglo-Saxon. Find features of Anglo-Saxon poetry. Choose 2-3 lines; define caesura and divide each line to half-lines, then find in each line 2 accented syllables. Use translation and find examples of kenning.
It may be useful to listen to Old English text. Try the following link:
(Reading of the given extract starts at 0.23 min)
Characters and plot
Christian and Pagan elements
Two worlds in Beowulf:
Heroic feasts as a ritual action:
Models of behavior:
Battles of Beowulf. Rituals. Narration.
Example: good/evil – clearly, Beowulf fights for good and Grendel, his mother and the dragon for evil. Are you sure that the dragon really fights for evil? What symbols, allusions and images connect Beowulf with good and his opponents with evil?
Other ideas are: light/dark, heaven/hell, powerful/weak, brave/fearful.
Think why «Beowulf» is close / not close to:
Bore it bitterly he who bided in darkness [b]
Twelve-winters' time torture suffered [t]
Soul-crushing sorrow not seldom in private [s]
Sat the king in his council, conference held they [k]
Heard in his home: of heroes then living, [h]
Charming sounds of Old English: Prologue to “Beowulf” with video and subtitles
Enjoy the song dedicated to “Beowulf” and Old English Poetry:
Have some fun and watch “Beowulf in 2 1/2 minutes” project:
After “Beowulf” and before Chaucer
Although the metrical style of Old English was later replaced by the rhyming poetic forms brought in by the Normans, alliterative verse, in a modified style, continued to be written until the fifteenth century.
Name two greatest works of the so-called alliterative revival.
^ In his “Visions of Piers Plowman” William Langland presented a broad vision of the society of the 14th century.
Read the prologue (http://www.historyguide.org/ancient/langland.html).
Enumerate what professions and occupations are presented in hero's strange dream?
When the author describes characters what is his special attention drawn to?
How do you think, why do scholars say that we can study the Medieval epoch with the help of this book (as well as with the help of “The Canterbury Tales”)?
^ Read the legend “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. Speak about codex of honour in chivalric romance. Base your arguments on the plot of the legend.
III. Study the book “Death of Arthur” by Thomas Malory.
a) What is courtly love and how is this cult presented in the book of Malory?
In Morte d'Arthur love vs. duty is an important theme. What is Malory's idea of the importance of these two? Which does he value more? Explain.
Point out what the chivalric and Christian code respectively is. Explain how Lancelot is loyal to the chivalric code, but not to the Christian code, and how it leads to his demise.
Think about the following thesis: Sir Lancelot is a hero or a betrayer? Give arguments. Base them on the text.
b) Do you agree with the statement that heroic epos is addressed to a warrior and the romance is addressed to a lady?
c) Read the story of Tristram and Isolde in Malory's book. Compare the plot with other versions of this legend. What did Malory change?
d) Religion plays a significant role in Malory's epic, often as allegory. Discuss some of the images of Christianity that are present and explore their influences on Arthur's court and Round Table.
What were the Celts like?
Why was Alfred the Great considered a national hero?
Who was Thomas Becket? How did he die? In which Medieval book can did you find his name?
How did the plague help end feudalism?
What ideas appear in “Beowulf” because of the 300+ year gap between when it was composed and when it was written down?
What were most plays about during the Medieval Period?
Whom is one of the most popular series of ballads about?
What was the name of King Arthur's sword?
What is a 'foot' in a line of poetry?
What year was the Norman Conquest of England?
What are the first names of Chaucer and Malory?
Name English poets before Norman invasion.
1. Беовульф. Старшая Эдда. Песнь о Нибелунгах/Ст. и коммент. О.А. Смирницкой. — С. 631—659; Ст. и коммент. А.Я. Гуревича. — С. 707-749. - М., 1975.
2. Зарубежная литература средних веков: Нем., исп., ит., англ..: Хрестоматия/Сост. Пуришев Б.И. — М., 1975. — С. 261—273.
1. /english-speaking/33a shedule of lectures and practical lessons.doc
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