Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)


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Home Old English Metre. Browse Inside. SKU SP Add to Cart. Quick Overview Old English Metre offers an essential framework for the critical analysis of metrical structures and interpretations in Old English literature. Cain Journal of English and Germanic Philology, April 'A welcome addition to Anglo-Saxon studies, Old English Metre combines introductory material for beginners with an up-to-date view of current work in the field.

Jun Terasawa's intricate, extensive knowledge of Old English metre allows him to discuss topics in a succinct, comfortable manner.

Old English Metre: An Introduction

A serious advance in state-of-the-art research, Old English Metre is ideally suited to help the largest possible audience interested in Old English poetry develop the skills necessary to critically edit and interpret these works. Anyone who proceeds conscientiously through this book will be in an excellent position to engage in discussions of metrical problems. Related Titles. Choose charity:. The Champlain Society. Remove donation.

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Old English literature - Wikipedia

But the main body of Old English literature, including Beowulf , cannot be so easily dated, except roughly to sometime during a period of two or three hundred years or more. The importance of dating such literature is not only historical, for, in interpreting literature, knowledge of the setting in which a work was composed is of great importance. As Amos puts it, '[it] is as if we knew that Sir Philip Sidney wrote in the late sixteenth century and Wallace Stevens in the mid-twentieth century, but could not assign even relative dates within that period to the work of Dickens and Shakespeare' pg 1.

One of the more interesting, and empirically-sound, clues to the date of composition of Beowulf lies in a consideration of certain aspects of the metre of the poem. Specifically, the conformity of the metre of Beowulf to 'Kaluza's Law' governing the resolution of syllables into a single position would be unexpected if the poem had been composed after AD. What follows attempts to present a straightforward synopsis of the relevant facts, largely based on R.

Metre can be roughly described as the rhythm used in recitation. More exactly, metre comprises the patterns of stressed or emphasised and unstressed syllables, which are inherent in spoken language, but take on a more regulated form in poetry. We may broadly classify the verse patterns used in Old English and thus in Beowulf into the following types based largely on Sievers' classification :. Though a vast number of verses in Beowulf and other Old English poems do not conform exactly to any of these 'basic' types, we find that most verses are equivalent to one or other of the above types.

In general one may observe that in all of the types we find four positions - in fact in the basic types, these four positions map perfectly onto four syllables. But not all verses have a direct equivalence between the four positions and four syllables : l.

A Journal of Medieval Studies

A phenomenon similar to extrametricality is anacrusis called Auftakt by German metrists. Anacrusis consists of one or two extrametrical weak syllables preceding an initial falling foot in an on-verse i. An example of anacrusis with two weak syllables: ne and ge- occurs in l. Essentially, to occupy the ictus of a foot i.

A heavy syllable is a syllable containing a long vowel e.

Interview with an Anglo-Saxon in Old English

There are some circumstances in which two such syllables do not resolve as described above, specifically: if the light stressed syllable is immediately preceded by another stressed syllable, and if the weak resolving syllable is heavy or--in the oldest OE poetry-- if the syllable was historically heavy, then resolution does not take place. This last condition on non-resolution, i. In the German scholar Max Kaluza in 'Zur Betonungs- und Verslehre des Altenglischen' published his crucial discovery that, in some metrical positions, resolution is governed in part by etymological considerations.

Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)
Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)
Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)
Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)
Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)
Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)
Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon) Old English Metre: An Introduction (Toronto Anglo-Saxon)

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