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16 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Binary Structure:
•J. R. R. Tolkien as chief proponent of this theory
•Notion of “a balance of two great blocks, A+B. Youth + Age; he rose—fell.”
•Tolkien called balance between Parts I and II as “a simple and static structure, solid and strong.”
Tripartite Structure:
•Reinforces significance of hero & the difficulty of his victories
•Separated by Grendel, Grendel’s Dam, and the Dragon
•Heaney suggests also “three archetypal sites of fear: the barricaded night-house, the infested underwater current, and the reptile-haunted rocks of a wilderness” (xii).
•This theory doesn’t account for episodic material or contrast
Interlace Structure:
•Interlace theory proposed by John Leyerle
•Leyerle argues “the art of juxtaposition” in the poem is central to its design
•Leyerle argues this point employing the phrase wordum wrixlan: “to exchange [or weave] words’ as referring to the interlaying of narrative episodes”

•Interlace as most common design element of art in the Anglo-Saxon period
•So prolific that “the seventh and eight centuries might justly be known as the interlace period”
•Alternative to violence in settling disputes
•Compensation or fine paid in cases of homicide and other crimes to free offender from further obligation or punishment
•Criminals had to compensate victims. If he could not pay, his family, kin, or neighbors had to pay.
•Kin groups backed up a man when he had to pay wergeld, when he needed support in court, and stood by him in times of trouble
•Communal organization of the Germans was determined by military organization
•Men of villages constituted units of army
–Their relationship with the king was therefore that of a soldier to a general as well as a man to sacral king
•The relationship was not formal, but personal. The man owed a personal loyalty to his king
•At the highest level, the aristocratic associates of the king formed a coterie around him, called the comitatus
•The coterie of men fought with the king, counseled him, and drank with him
•The king’s mead hall was the center of his and their world.
•Each nobleman had his own coterie of soldiers from the neighborhood of his estate, and these men related to him as he did to the king.
•Armies were thus built on personal relationships focused on the leader
Blood Feuds:
•When status was decreased through insult or injury, a man has to recover his honor
•Natural way to recover honor and status was through the blood feud
–The law provided a peaceful means of settlement, community wanted peaceful solutions to work
–Germanic community in medieval lit encourages disputants to settle their differences according to law
Andreas Capellanus:
•Capellanus’s The Art of Courtly Love was almost certainly intended to portray conditions at Queen Eleanor’s court at Poitiers.
•From his work we get a vivid picture of life in a medieval court like that of Troyes or Poitiers
•Andreas’s book begins with a “treatise on love,” explaining “what love is” (Capellanus 28)
•Much of his book concerned the manner in which love may be acquired retained, who was fit to love, and between which persons love was possible.
Courtly Love:
•known in medieval France as "fine love" or fin amour
•l'amour courtois: the term identified an extravagantly artificial and stylized relationship--a forbidden affair that was characterized by five main attributes. It was:
– Aristocratic
– Ritualistic
– Secret
– Adulterous
– Literary
the break between the words of a line in the Old English text
a double or multiple statement of one concept or term in which each restatement suggests a new aspect, be it a more general attribute or a more specific one
how key images are emphasized through repetition, for example the frequent return to images of Heorot
Formal Speeches:
they contain digressions and descriptions, reflections and episodes; they delay the progress of the narrative, but in really interesting ways
Bob and Wheel:
The first short line of a group of rhyming lines is known as the "bob" and the subsequent four are a quatraine called the "wheel." The bob contains one stress preceded by either one or occasionally two unstressed syllables (i.e., the bob is only two or three syllables long). Each line of the wheel contains three stresses. Together, the bob-and-wheel constitutes five lines rhyming in an ABABA pattern. Since it matches the alliterative pattern of the first part of the stanza, but also fits the rhyme scheme of the last five lines, the "bob" serves as a structural bridge between the alliterative sections and the rhyming sections of the poem.
a descriptive name or poetical periphrasis
A dramatic convention by means of which a character, alone onstage, utters his or her thoughts aloud. Playwrights use soliloquies as a convenient way to inform the audience about a character’s motivations and state of mind. Shakespeare’s Hamlet delivers perhaps the best known of all soliloquies, which begins: "To be or not to be."
A narrative that possesses at least two levels of meaning and understanding. Allegory has two parallel levels: a literal level, where a surface level story is recounted, and a symbolic level, which addresses abstract ideas. Allegories are often considered extended metaphors: the surface level story helps to convey moral, religious, political, or philosophical ideas. There are two major kinds of allegory: historical and political allegories and allegories of ideas. Related to allegory are the parable and exemplum. Parables are very short, realistic narratives about people that are meant to teach a moral or a religious lesson. Often they are used to emphasize a narrator's lesson or point. Exemplums are used in sermons to illustrate and validate a particular theme or idea.