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Anglo-Saxon Poetry


The Anglo-Saxons were the population In Brutal partly descended from the Germanic tribes who migrated from continental Europe and settled the south and east of the island beginning In the early fifth century A. D.. The Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period of English history after their initial settlement through their creation of the English nation and up to the Norman conquest. The are revered for their literature and poems, still treasured today. Just by reading their literature, we can get a good understanding of how ideas were expressed back then. Their poems tell us about Anglo-Saxon culture, their views on

Christianity, and also their values. Anglo-Saxon literature did not begin with books, but with spoken verse and songs or poems such as epic poems. This Is clearly demonstrated by the poem “The Wanderer. ” The purpose of these forms of literature was to pass along tribal history and values to a population who could not read or write. Warriors would gather In mead halls where scoops and their assistants would recite poems or songs for hours or even days as a form of entertainment or ceremonial occasions. These poems were made very catchy so they could easily be recalled and rhymes.

Anglo-Saxon literature, such as epic poems, also show the influence of Christianity and how they presented their beliefs through writing. After reading these samples of Anglo-Saxon literature, there is an apparent Christian versus Pagan undertone. Christians believed in one God and in Heaven. Pagans believed in many gods and in fate, which meant everything in life was predetermined and nobody had control over it. These ideas were expressed in many Anglo-Saxon poems. In “The Dream of the Rood,” Christianity is expressed very powerfully. Vivid imagery is included to demonstrate strong devotion to God.

This poem shows God triumphantly existent in the author’s most revered vision. It is clear that the Anglo-Saxons demonstrated their beliefs quite potently through literature. We are able to get a sense of their values from it. The Anglo-Saxons valued strength and zeal, as well as many other important values in life. By reading the poem “The Dream of the Rood,” we are able to see that the Anglo-Saxons expressed gravitation towards strength, courage, loyalty, hospitality, generosity, ceremoniousness in women, and good reputation in all people. These values were important to the Anglo-Saxons, and as such, they expressed these

The Anglo-Saxons left behind them a wide array of classic literature, respected and admired for centuries and centuries after they were written. Their poems contain values dominant in today’s society, which reflect similar circumstances and situations we may face in our modern world today. These issues primarily regard our religion and conflicts experienced with it. These poems give us a good understanding of what life was like in England during the Middle Ages. By their well-written, vivid poetry, Anglo-Saxon poets were able to paint a picture of what they valued, and how they saw Christianity in the world around them.