Anglo-Saxon Review



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Anglo-Saxon Review

  • This will help you prepare for the objective and written portion of the Anglo-Saxon Test
  • (Wed and Thur of Next Week)

Organizing Your Binder

  • Make sure that you complete the Beowulf packet by Thursday of next week.
  • Organize your papers in the Anglo-Saxon section of your binder
  • Use your notes, quizzes, and textbook to help you study for the exam
  • This exam will be worth between 100 points, so it can really influence your grade
  • This organization is important because you will be referencing this while you study for the midterm (it asks for specific information about the Anglo-Saxon age)

Historical Elements

  • What is the relationship between the Christian monks and the Anglo-Saxon stories
  • How did the Battle of Hastings influence England? (Know this date!)
  • What is the order of invaders (also know invaders effect/influence on one another? Order of languages?
  • Review your notes on the attack of England in 55 BC
  • Who is Bede and why is he important to Anglo-Saxon history?

Historical Elements (cont.)

  • Origins of the Anglo-Saxons
    • Where did they come from
    • Religious views (mix of paganism/Christianity)
    • What is the relationship between the Christian monks and the Anglo-Saxon stories?
    • King Alfred’s role/influence on language
  • Know the roles of the following:

Literary Terms **You should be able to provide definitions and examples for these terms**

  • Caesura
  • Kenning
  • Alliteration
  • Assonance
  • Elegy
  • Epithet
  • Archetype
  • Myth
  • Epic
  • Epic Hero / Legendary Hero
    • Know the characteristics of an epic hero
  • Theme (what is the theme of Beowulf?)
  • Heroic Cycle (be able to explain in detail!)

Beowulf Characters and Plot

  • Beowulf
    • Where is Beowulf from and who does he serve?
    • What does he represent?
    • Why does he travel to Hrothgar’s kingdom?
    • How does he defeat Grendel and Grendel’s mother?
    • What is his relationship with the Geats? With the Danes?
    • Who is Wiglaf and why is he important to Beowulf? How does Wiglaf help Beowulf?
    • How does he die?
    • What does he ask for before dying? What does he give Wiglaf?
    • What is Beowulf’s relationship to his soldiers and how do they disappoint him?
    • Know the details of the funeral

Beowulf Characters and Plot

  • Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, the Dragon
    • How is Grendel defeated? How is his mother defeated?
    • Biblically, Grendel is a descendent from ______.
    • You should be able to recognize examples of the combining of Christianity and Paganism
    • The setting associated with Grendel’s mother’s dwellings
    • What does the dragon symbolize? Why is Beowulf determined to fight the dragon?

Beowulf Characters and Plot

  • King Hrothgar
    • Why is he inadequate as a King and leader? You should be able to relate this to the importance of the relationship between the leader and his warriors. Think of the Anglo-Saxon culture and why the Lord is so important
    • Why is he “protected”?
  • Importance of metalwork in Beowulf
    • Who/what is Hrunting?

“The Seafarer” and The Exeter Book – Part One

  • What does the imagery at the beginning of the poem consist of?
  • How does the speaker view the world?
  • Where is there evidence that this is an elegy?
  • What does this poem reveal to us about Anglo-Saxon culture?

“The Seafarer” and The Exeter Book – Part Two

  • By the end of the poem…
    • What is the central message the speaker (connection to religion)?
    • Why does he continue his life at sea?
    • Where is there evidence that this is an elegy?
    • How does the speaker view the world in its current state?

Essay Options

  • Be prepared to discuss the following topics:
  • 1. How Beowulf demonstrates two specific characteristic of an epic hero. Be sure to define epic hero.
  • 2. How “The Seafarer” demonstrates characteristics of an elegy (know the definition of an elegy!).
  • 3. How the importance of metalwork in Anglo- Saxon England is demonstrated in Beowulf.

Essay Options

  • 4. How the relationship between the warrior chief and the warrior is developed through the sense of community as depicted in Beowulf or “The Seafarer.”
  • 5. How the invaders of England influenced the development of this land.
  • 6. How Beowulf shows specific parts of the heroic cycle. Be sure to indicate the various stages of the heroic cycle. (Show a connection with the various archetypes)


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