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Chapter I - The Anglo-Saxon period

Part I
Anglo-saxon, or Old English belongs to the low German family of languages, of which Dutch is
the most representative in the modern laguages.
The Anglo-Saxon tribes :
- the Saxons - dwelling near the mouth of Elbe
- the Angles - inhabiting the southwest part of Denmark
- the Jutes - extending north of the Angles into modern Jutland
Their early poetry give glimpses of little tribal or family settlements, bounded on one side by
wild moors and dense forests where dwelt monstrous creatures of mist and darkness, and on teh
other by the stormy northen oceans.
They had two passions: war and wandering; they've found satisfaction in the life of the sea
without caring about penetrating far inland.
The sea-faring life, full of danger and change was the fruitful source of early poetry.
The poetry which has come down to us from this early period has been worked over by later
hand and given a Christian coloring. From other sources we know that they had other beliefs,
they had some primitive gods. They had Woden, which was the father of the later dynasty of
gods and patron of seers and travellers, Thor, the god of thunder, and Frea, the mother of gods
and giver of fruitfulness. These are commemorated in our names for the days of the week:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Two classes of singers were recognized in that period:
-the gleeman (gleoman) - this type of singer did not create his own songs but chanted what he
learned from others
-the scop - this type is the poet proper, who took the crude materials of histrory and legend and
shaped them into songs.
The most important poem of the period is "Beowulf", along with "Deor's Lament" and "Widsith".
"Beowulf" has over three thousand lines in lenght. This poem is about a hero how fight for the
King of West-Danes, Hrothgar, with Grendel, a monstrous creature who troubled the King,
destroying Heorot. After the hero kills the creature and becomes famous for his deed, he fights

a Celtic leader appears. so fancy and spiritual. Caedmon was the first poet of Christian England. the literature did not developed that much but the teaching schools appeard. Now. The population spread in France. and the future beholds it’s suprises. yet. The fact that the language was changing and apparentely the spirit of literature was dead. Beowulf dies. A fire-dragon is the one that brings the end of the hero by starting a fight and at the end of it. who is looking for revenge. all the efforts in making a vital native literature were fruitless. Baeda. The celtic spirit. laborious scholar” whom wrote lots of book. . Caedmon had no special gift until he became old and had a dream in which God appeard and told him to sing. and what to sing. He is well known for the Genesis. Part II After this whole period of time. but the most relevant one is “ Ecclesiasticle History of the English People”. The Christian teaching came into England in two streams. was quickly shut down by the invaders which populated the island. the Angles and the Jutes. and so he became the first poet of the Christian England by turning the biblical narrative into songs. their future island-home was being made into a province of the Roman-Empire. had been subjugated and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were build. Spain and all along the British island. The God. and a part of Daniel. and the population. Caedmon wrote everything that he sang in the dream. By that time. told him to sing a part from the Bible. the new poet that arises is Cynewulf. a new intruder appears in his life. The word had spread and quickly he had to paraphrase into songs the whole Old Testament. But there were the Celtic population which refuses to go and accept – from “curiousity and quickness of sympathy” – the roman population. Exodus. The morning. Pirate tribes. He is well-known for Andreas and The Pheonix. soft one.with the mother of Grendel.because meanwhile he becomes one. King Arthur – the one that influenced that much the inspiration in literature. After Caedmon. a young and sensitive write whom transcends from a wild esthetics to a religious. weakened by those civilised years along romans and the increasing numer of the invaders. That era was almost gone. known as “Venerable Bede” was a “gentle. one from Rome and one from Ireland. After he loses one hand in the fight and becomes an old respectable king.came every spring on the celtic domain. The truth is that they needed new blood to refresh the literature spirit and come to a new kind of poetry.the Saxons. He replayed that he has no ideea how to sing.

group 5 (Charles Scribner’s Sons. MOODY ROBERT M. group 4 Chapter IV : Mihaila Oana Mihaela.A HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE WILLIAM V. group 3 Chapter III : Oprea Simona. LOVETT Summary: Chapter I : Matei Andreea. 1906) . group 3 Chapter V : Simion Stefan Teodor. group 3 Chapter II : Manta Alexandru Augustin. New York.