From the Literary History of England: The Middle Ages, 1959, p135-142, 8p.
An overview of Anglo-Norman literature seen in the Middle English period. The influence of French culture over the English court is highlighted. Common features of the style are listed. Authors discussed include Philippe de Thaun and Robert Grosseteste.
This book introduces students to the literature of Anglo-Saxon England, the period from 600-1066, in a collection of fifteen specially commissioned essays. The Companion is aimed at students encountering Old English literature for the first time, who require clear guidance and orientation in an unfamiliar field.
This program provides an introduction to medieval Europe by showing surviving traces to provide a feel of medieval style and practice and by tracing the roots of the fall of civilization and the onset of darkness. Much that is medieval survives, sometimes in unlikely places: in a feudal community in sub-Saharan Africa, where an absolute ruler holds court surrounded by ministers, courtiers, and hangers-on, with paladins in mail and mercenaries who, according to local tradition, are descendants of the crusaders; and in numerous folk festivals held in modern Italy, which reenact the futile battles against the invading nomadic hordes. The program traces the fall of Rome and the development of fortified monasteries and their gradual transformation into centers of prayer, work, and the study of ancient learning. With the acceptance of eastern peoples into the Church of Rome, Europe achieved its frontiers. (43 minutes)
The oldest story in the English language, Beowulf is the Norse epic saga of good vs. evil and man vs. monster. The famous warrior battles invaders, monsters, and a fire-breathing dragon. This episode of Clash of the Gods examines Norse mythology’s greatest hero and the intriguing possibility that he may have been a real-life warrior. Recently unearthed burial mounds and ancient carvings suggest that the epic may have roots in reality. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. (45 minutes) Distributed by A&E Television Networks.
Readers of Beowulf have noted inconsistencies in Beowulfs depiction, as either heroic or reckless. Heroic Identity in the World of Beowulf resolves this tension by emphasizing Beowulfs identity as a foreign fighter seeking glory abroad. Such men resemble wreccan, exiles" compelled to leave their homelands due to excessive violence. Beowulf may be potentially arrogant, therefore, but he learns prudence. This native wisdom highlights a kings duty to his warband, in expectation of Beowulfs future rule. The dragon fight later raises the same question of incompatible identities, hero versus king. In frequent reference to Greek epic and Icelandic saga, this revisionist approach to Beowulf offers new interpretations of flyting rhetoric, the custom of "men dying with their lord," and the poems digressions."
One of the most consistent critiques levelled against Beowulf is that it lacks a steady narrative advance and that its numerous digressions tend to complicate if not halt the poem's movement. As those passages often look backward or far ahead in narrative time, they seem to transform the poem into a meditative pastiche. The Narrative Pulse of Beowulf counters this assertion, examining Beowulf as a social drama with a strong, forward-moving narrative momentum. John M. Hill discerns a distinctive 'narrative pulse' arising out of the poem's many scenes of arrival and departure. He argues that such scenes, far from being fixed or 'type' scenes, are socially dramatic and a key to understanding the structural density of the poem. Bolstering his analysis with a strong understanding of the epic, Hill looks at Beowulf in relation to other stories such as The Odyssey and The Iliad, epics that, though they may appear to have a certain narrative elasticity, use scenes of arrival and departure to create a cohesive social world in which stories unfold. As a new and comprehensive study of one of the most important Old English texts, The Narrative Pulse of Beowulf sheds new light on this famous poem and the epic tradition itself.
Judith 16:14 is a reflection on the origin of mankind through the womb of woman who is cited as the incarnation of the God. Prominent use of the language of creation in the songs of Judith reveals that God creates a female spirit in likeness to the creation of the first woman mentioned in Genesis 2:22. Creation is referred to as an act of building, seldom for the creation of human beings or women. However, the suggestion of woman as the incarnation of God matches with the portrayal of Judith as the female protagonist of the book.
How did the Anglo-Saxons conceptualize the interim between death and Doomsday? In this 2001 book, Ananya Jahanara Kabir presents an investigation into the Anglo-Saxon belief in the 'interim paradise': paradise as a temporary abode for good souls following death and pending the final decisions of Doomsday. She locates the origins of this distinctive sense of paradise within early Christian polemics, establishes its Anglo-Saxon development as a site of contestation and compromise, and argues for its post-Conquest transformation into the doctrine of purgatory. In ranging across Old English prose and poetry as well as Latin apocrypha, exegesis, liturgy, prayers and visions of the otherworld, and combining literary criticism with recent scholarship in early medieval history, early Christian theology and history of ideas, this book is essential reading for scholars of Anglo-Saxon England, historians of Christianity, and all those interested in the impact of the Anglo-Saxon period on the later Middle Ages.
Now in its second edtion, this established guide for beginning students of literature has been updated to reflect the latest in teaching and research. Students will discover the full range of literary forms, styles, theories and critical strategies which are essential to the study ofliterature. Carefully selected examples demonstrate exactly how a different strategies for reading texts can be put to work and applied by students in their own work. All texts discussed are conveniently available in readily available works, the majority of which are also in the Norton Anthology ofEnglish Literature.
Written around 1400 in Middle English by an unknown hand, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a mysterious poem about an uncanny event that takes place in the legendary realm of King Arthur. In this program, renowned Gawain translator Simon Armitage seeks a richer understanding of the poem by walking the fading trail that ends at the Green Chapel, the climax point of the famously alliterative epic that is equal parts adventure story, supernatural tale, steamy romance, parable, and tribute to nature. Enthralling! Readings and commentary by Armitage are interwoven throughout the narrative. Original BBC broadcast title: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. (59 minutes)
"Offers a welcome vade mecum to the Chaucer reader, whether a student or teacher. Impressively interweaving a lifetime of teaching Chaucer with a deep knowledge of his texts, Pugh compresses into one elegantly written, slim handbook the essential Chaucer. A college course in a book! And not a dull moment in it."
This video covers the life of English author, poet, philosopher, courtier, and diplomat Geoffrey Chaucer to middle age. Chaucer's 14th-century saw him survive the Black Death as a child, the plague that wiped out a third of the population of Europe, and become actively involved, both as a soldier and later as a secret agent, in the 100 Years' War—a war that was to leave England devastated. Despite these man-made and natural catastrophes, English literature went through a short Renaissance, and the program hints as to why this might have happened while considering the leading role that Chaucer was to play in it. Terry Jones (Monty Python) stars.
The Cambridge Companion to Chaucer is an extensively revised version of the first edition, which has become a classic in the field. This new volume responds to the success of the first edition and to recent debates in Chaucer Studies. Important material has been updated, and new contributions have been commissioned to take into account recent trends in literary theory as well as in studies of Chaucer's works. New chapters cover the literary inheritance traceable in his works to French and Italian sources, his style, as well as new approaches to his work. Other topics covered include the social and literary scene in England in Chaucer's time, and comedy, pathos and romance in the Canterbury Tales. The volume now offers a useful chronology, and the bibliography has been entirely updated to provide an indispensable guide for today's student of Chaucer.