The Anglo-Saxon Period

1826 WordsSep 17, 20058 Pages
The Anglo Saxon period is the oldest known period of time that had a complex culture with stable government, art, and a fairly large amount of literature. Many people believe that the culture then was extremely unsophisticated, but it was actually extremely advanced for the time. Despite the many advancements, the period was almost always in a state of war. Despite this fact, the Anglo-Saxon period is a time filled with great advancements and discoveries in culture, society, government, religion, literature, and art. The Angles were a Germanic tribe that occupied the region which is now Scleswig-Holstein, Germany. With their fellow ethnic groups, they formed the people who came to be known as the English. The Saxons were a Germanic people…show more content…
The Christian themes found in the epic, however, however are not integrated into the main part of the essentially pagan tale (Hutchinson Book of the Arts, www.sirs.com). Works such as Deor, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and other poems follows the same basic theme as Beowulf. In these works, a happy past is contrasted with a precarious and desolate present. This type of heroic poetry celebrates great heroism even in the face of great danger and overwhelming odds (Hutchinson Book of the Arts, www.sirs.com). Most of the Christian poetry is marked by the belief of a simple, relatively unsophisticated Christianity. The names of only two authors are known. Caedmon, whose story is told by the Venerable Bede, is the earliest known English poet. Not much is known about him, and almost all of his work has been lost. The other known poet is named Cynewulf. The only thing known about him is that he signed the poems Juliana, and The Fates of the Apostles (The Columbia Encyclopedia). Poetry in the Anglo-Saxon period is very different from modern poetry. The verse form for old English poetry is a line of four stressed syllables and an unfixed number of unstressed syllables that are broken by a caesura. The lines are usually end-stopped and unrhymed. Although writing poetry was very popular in the age, people
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