The Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Poetry: A Prelude to Beowulf

Who says the Dark Ages were “dark”? In the world that we sometimes think of as barbaric and violent, beauty was prized in visual ornamentation and literary elaboration. In this introduction to Anglo-Saxon literature, students will study the literature and literary techniques of the early Middle Ages, thus preparing students to read Beowulf with an appreciation for its artistry and beauty. Students will learn the conventions of Anglo-Saxon poetry, solve online riddles, write riddles, and reflect on what they have learned.

Guiding Questions

What can we learn from the manuscripts and literature of the Anglo-Saxons?

What are some formal elements of Anglo-Saxon poetry?

Learning Objectives

Define and give examples of kennings, alliteration, and caesura

Analyze and solve Anglo-Saxon riddles

Reflect on how literature and art were important aspects of Anglo-Saxon life