Books Are Humanity in Print Essay

1364 Words6 Pages
British Lit Final Exam May 26, 2010 Books Are Humanity in Print, The human race is known for change; it has evolved from prehistoric ‘cavemen’, ancient empires, and Vikings to aristocratic monarchies, democracies, and dictatorships. With each passing year, there are technological advancements, changing political platforms, and a progressively mobile worldwide population. Each literary era reflects the human feats, lifestyles, and changing times: Anglo-Saxon epics consist of glory battle scenes, bloodied warriors, and feuding countries; Middle English works consist of glorified knights, the chivalric code, and a greedy, materialistic court; and, modern literary classics depict worlds of which the human race is ruled by technology.…show more content…
While most of the poem depicts pagan customs, such as wergild,, there are three specific ways that Christianity is seen: the title character, Beowulf, is depicted as good while Grendel, who descended from Cain, is depicted at evil; there are conflicting ideas of fate and free will; and the lord is seen as an almightily, singular being. Following the Norman Conquests, the French influence drastically changed the British Isles: the language of the aristocracy became French; feudalism, a social and economic hierarchy, became the caste system of choice; and, chivalry was abounded. However, The French influence quickly declined following the Crusades, the struggle between church and state, the Magna Carta, the Hundred Years War, the Bubonic Plague, and the rise of cities. The anonymously authored, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, reflects the shifting social order. A satire of a culture in moral decline, the poem is filled with elaborate descriptions of courtly festivities, the accouterments of knighthood, and the inane codes of chivalry. The knights of both the era and the poem are dressed to the nines: fancy belts, gold plated shields, and various other garments unnecessary for warfare. The knights pledged their loyalty to their kings, their honor to women, and their defense to the Christian faith. In the poem, Christmas
Open Document