BEOWULF SHAKESPEARE AMERICAN ENGLISH PLAIN ENGLISH BEST ESSAYS

AND ALL THAT

1066 HOME OLD ENGLISH MIDDLE ENGLISH MODERN ENGLISH CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH
 
   

Old English Poetry

 

What Lies behind the OE Rules of Poetic Composition?

 
  • Lexical variation (the use of kennings) helped to create a more expressive and varied poetry

 
  • The more words which were available to express a particular notion, the more the poet had creative opportunities

 
  • The kennings enabled the poet to maintain the rhythmical structure of lines of poetry and the repeated pattern of sounds they contained

 
  • This poetic form descended from ancient oral tradition

 
  • Poems were composed, performed, and passed on without any use being made of writing

 
  • The professional minstrel sang the old stories while playing a small harp-like instrument

 
  • Alliterative structuring was one of the ways in which an orally transmitted text could be remembered for accurate retelling

 
  • Alliteration and rhythm were used as “phonological mnemonics” (that is, memorizing devices which make use of a language's sound system)

 
  • The task of remembering Beowulf (3,182 lines) was much facilitated by the phonological structuring that used alliteration

 

Copyrighted material

 
 
WE ARE PARTNERS
 


 

OLD ENGLISH POETRY

  The Old English Poetic Line

  The Use of Kennings

  An Extract from Beowulf

  Explaining the Rules of OE Poetry

OLD ENGLISH

  The Origins of Old English

  Main Influences on Old English

  The Lord's Prayer in Old English

  Beowulf Home

  More

 

 
 
 
 

Site Map || Feedback || About || Links

Copyright Alex Chubarov 1066-2066

All Rights Reserved