Untying the Celtic Knot: Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon World
An Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Thematic Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon Period This unit is important because it includes the earliest known writing in English - work that despite its reflection of a more primitive way of life - is sophisticated in its style, tone, mood, voice, and rhetoric. The work is fundamental in a study of English as a language. Beowulf is among the earliest of world masterpieces and to the earliest such piece in English. It includes the ideas of heroism, social contract, leadership, fear of the unknown, man's relationship with the supernatural religion, and myth. The Anglo-Saxon period predicts 20th century existentialism. The poetic works use sophisticated devices such as alliteration, Ù line rhythm with caesural pauses, kennings, and other figures of speech such as personification, simile, and metaphor. Beowulf' is central among the world's epics.