An Analysis Of British Literature Essay

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An Analysis of British Literature

     Death is inevitable and what happens after death will always be a mystery to the living. For this reason, the afterlife has always been a topic which artists have chosen to explore in their works. Throughout the chronology of British literature, artists have used society's views as a basis to examine the afterlife, and look at it in new ways. The afterlife has been a theme in
British Literature from the Anglo-Saxon period of Beowulf to the twentieth century writings of Dylan Thomas. The mysteriousness of the afterlife makes it a topic which artists will always be eager to analyze.
     During the Anglo-Saxon Period which lasted from 449 AD to 1066
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The society's values greatly influenced the monks revision of the poems.
     "The Seafarer" is another Anglo-Saxon poem which deals with the afterlife. The poem was written by Bede, who was a monk, so it contains the
Christian views of the afterlife which are very similar to the one's included in the Christian revision to Beowulf. The speaker believed "Death leaps at the fools who forgot their God./ He who lives humbly has angles from Heaven/ To carry him courage and strength and belief." This showed the belief that God must be worshipped to get to Heaven, and if you do not follow God, like Grendel in Beowulf, you will not go to Heaven. In the poem, the persona expressed that riches can not buy entrance into heaven in the afterlife because, "nothing/
Golden shakes the wrath of God/ For a soul overflowing with sin, and nothing/
Hidden on earth rises to Heaven." This poem reflected an Anglo-Saxon monk's views of the afterlife, which were centered around his strong faith in
     During the Medieval Period, the Catholic church played a dominant role in society. In England, the church's abbeys and monasteries were the main centers of learning and the arts before the founding of Oxford and Cambridge universities during the thirteenth century. The church