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English 241: Midterm (Zweck) > Passage Identification > Flashcards

Flashcards in Passage Identification Deck (37)
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Now we must praise heaven-kingdom's Guardian,

the Measurer's might and his mind-plans,

the work of the Glory-Father when he of woners of every one,

eternal Lord the beginning established

Cædmon's Hymn

- Bede

- the repeated word here is what we must praise (Heaven-kingdom's guardian, the measurer's might, his mind plans, the work of the Glory-father)

- establishes that God does a fuck of a lot, and that he is a God of power (which relates to the idea/theme of germanic heroism)


In off the moors, down through the mist-bands,

God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping.

The bane of the race of men roamed forth,

hunting for a prey in the high hall.

Under the cloud-murk he moved towards it

until it shone above him, a sheer keep of fortified gold. Nor was that the first time

he had scouted the grounds of Hrothgar's dwelling–

although never in his life, before or since,

did he find harder fortune or hall-defenders.

Spurned and joyless, her journeyed on ahead

And arrived at the bawn. The iron-braced door

Turned on its hinge when his hands touched it.


- Author Unknown

- Grendel's attack on Heorot

- establishes Grendel as monstrous to the reader as he embodies the opposite of all things of value at the time

- loping, roamed, hunting for prey: all animalistic characteristics which further plays on the theme of monstrosity in the poem

- this fortified, iron door literally moved with the slightest touch of his hands, highlighting how insanely powerful he is


Hildeburh had little cause to credit the Jutes;

son and brother, she lost them both on the battlefield.

She, bereft and blameless, they foredoomed, cut down and spear-gored.

She, the woman in shock, was waylaid by grief,

Hoc's daughter– how could she not lament her fate when morning cameand the light broke on her murdered dears?

Hildeburh Poem from Beowulf;

- Author Unknown

- begins in the middle of the story of Hildeburh (so we know nothing of her life before this point)

- downplays the physical aspects of fighting by focusing on the survivor (which is weird because the scop is telling this story post victory of Beowulf over Grendel)

- lamentation of the survivor but the survivor is specifically a woman so this could be hinting at the return of Grendel's mother later on in the poem

- plays upon the existence of females throughout the whole poem: only exist/are defined through her kin based relationships


So a truce was offered as follows: first separate quarters to be cleared for the Danes hall and throne to be shared with the Frisians.


So, if any Frisian stirred up bad blood with insinuations or taunts about this, the blade of the sword would arbitrate it.

Hildeburh poem from Beowulf

- Author Unknown

- the point of view changes to the husband's (Finn)

- focuses on how the treaty was made with words but also plays upon the fact that words can insight violence as well


Then Hildeburh ordered her own son's body to be burnt with Hnaef's,

the flesh on his bones to sputter and blaze beside his uncle's.

Hildeburh poem from Beowulf

- Author Unknown


Fate [wryd] goes ever as fate must


- Author Unknown

- We don't know much about the religious beliefs held by the characters of this poem (but we can assume they are noble pagans as the author was Christian and this was a celebration of the Germanic past but it's hard)

- suggests that Beowulf believes in some larger force that determines if he will beat Grendel


But death is not easily escaped from by anyone: all of us with souls, earth-dwellers and children of men, must make our way to a destination already ordained where the body, after the banqueting, sleeps on its deathbed.


- Author Unknown

- doesn't specifically say what the afterlife is or what souls are, it just hints at it

- basically says the end may be up to fate and be predestined but your actions in life still matter


Sometimes He [Almighty God] allows the mind of a man of distinguished birth to follow its bent, grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth and forts to command in his own country.

He permits him to lord it in many lands until the man in his unthinkingness forgets that it will ever end for him.

He indulges in his desires; illness and old age mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled by envy or malice or the thought of enemies with their hate-honed swords.

The whole world conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst until an element of overweening enters him and takes hold while the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses, grown too distracted.

His old possessions seem paltry to him now.

He covets and resents; dishonors custom and bestows no gold; and because of good things that the Heavenly Powers gave him in the past he ignores the shape of things to come.

Then finally the end arrives when the body he was lent collapses and falls prey to its death; ancestral possessions and the goods he hoarded are inherited by another who lets them go with a liberal hand.

O flower of warriors, beware of that trap.Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride.

Hrothgar's Sermon from Beowulf

- Author Unknown

- Hrothgar offers the wisdom of his age by talking about past kings who weren't all that great

- describes that God (whatever form that they are in this context) lets others have free will and success but also leaves it possible for them to indulge in their victories and fuck it all up

- basically he's warning Beowulf not to be a greedy asshole, and is saying yeah you may have won but don't let it go to your head because a good king should be generous

- also reminds Beowulf that if you don't choose where your treasure goes while you're alive someone else will once you die and that can go very badly


Where did the steed go? Where the young warrior? Where the treasure-giver? Where the seats of fellowship? Where the hall's festivity? Alas bright beaker! Alas burnished warrior! Alas pride of princes! How the time has passed gone under night-helm as if it never was!

The Wanderer

- Author Unknown

- encapsulates the "Ubi Sunt" phraseology

- not just showing that the speaker is mourning but specifically what they are mourning (shows a status symbol because everything he misses is slightly boujee)


Here the wealth is fleeting, here the friend is fleeting. Here family is fleeting, here humankind is fleeting. All this resting-place Earth shall become empty

All shall be well for him who seeks grace from our Father in heaven where a fortress stands for us all.

The Wanderer

- Author Unknown

- the first section represents how everything is transitory (doesn't really offer any consolation there)

- the second passage almost seems as if it were an after thought like "yeah uh everything will be great if you seek God in life" and they called it a day


Now, earth, hold what earls once held and heroes can no more; it was mined from you first by honourable men. My own people have been ruined in war; one by one they went down to death, looked at their last on sweet life in the hall. I am left with nobody to bear a sword or to burnish plated goblets, put a sheen on the cup. The companies have departed. The hard helmet, hasped with gold, will be stripped of its hoops; and the helmet-shiner who should polish the metal of the war-mask sleeps; the coat of mail that came through all fights through all fights, through shield-collapse and cut of sword, decays with the warrior

Lay of the Last Survivor from Beowulf

- Author Unknown

- has elegiac tones but also has elements of an ubi sunt (where will these things go / what will happen to these things)

- the man is basically saying I am the last of all my people so I have to bury all this treasure (but because he has no more community, there is no value to these pieces)


You are the last of us, the only one left of the Wæmundings. Fate swept us away, sent my whole brave high-born clan to their final doom. Now I must follow them." That was the warrior's last word. He had no more to confide. The furious heat of the pyre would assail him. His soul fled from his breast to its destined place among the steadfast ones.


- Author Unknown

- Beowulf says that this was his fight but Weylof still helped and essentially called the others pussies for not also helping Beowulf in his final fight

- hints at an afterlife but we don't know anything about this place (no heaven, hell, Valhalla)

- Beowulf, in the last section, talks a fuck ton; for someone who was saying words don't matter, what you say shouldn't / isn't as important as what you do but that's all contradictory because he talks so much

- the treasure he thought would tide his people over becomes useless (burying it with Beowulf partly marks his status but partly marks the end of the world of Germanic heroes)


But natheless, whil I have time and space, Er that ferther in this tale pace,

Me thinketh it accordant to resoun

To telle you al the condicioun

Of eech of hem, so as it seemed me,

And whiche they were, and of what degree,

And eek in what array that they were in

The General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales

- Chaucer

- says he will tell of three things not promising to tell us about what they're like as individuals, it's more about their social status


A Knight ther was, and that a worthy man,

That fro the time that he first bigan

To riden out, he loved chivalrye,

Trouth and honour, freedom and curteisye.

Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,

And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre

As wel in Cristendom as hetheness,

And evere honoured for his worthinesse

The General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales

- Chaucer

- portrait of the Knight

- set up as an ideal figure in the bellatores but doesn't specify anything about the knight which makes it applicable to all knights

- unchallenging portrait so far


He was a verray,* parfit, gentil knight.

But for to tellen you of his array,

His hors were goode, but he was nat gay.

Of fustian he wered a gipoun

Al bismotered with his haubergeoun,

For he was late come from his viage,

And wente for to doon his pilgrimage

The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

- Chaucer

- the knight seems a little old fashioned and almost too perfect (he literally went straight from battle, didn't even change his clothes)

- could be a play commenting on the fact that the knight is too perfect


And if you liketh alle, by oon assent,

For to stonden at my juggement

And for to werken as I shall you saye,

Tomorwe whan ye riden by the waye–

Now by my fader soule that is deed,

But ye by merye I wol yive you myn heed!

Holde up youre handes withouten more speech"

Oure conseil was not longe for to seeche;

Us thought it was not worth to make it wis,

And graunted him withouten more avis,

And bade him saye his voirdit as him leste.

The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

- Chaucer

- the host is slightly problematic and challenges what a good ruler is (he's threatening slightly)

-he threatens to make them pay for the trip if they disagree with him (definitely not a benevolent ruler)

- everyone just goes along with it

- could be a moment where he considers what does it mean to have a parliament that responds to a king? What does it mean to be a good citizen


Oure Hoste logh and swoor, "So mote I goon,"

This gooth aright, unbokeled is the male.

Lat see now who shal telle another tale.

For trewely the game is wel biggone.

Now telleth ye, sire Monk, if that ye conne,

Somewhat to quite the Knightes tale.

The Miller's Prologue

- Chaucer

- right after the Knights Tale the host swears which opens up the possibility for disorder and inappropriate answers

- the use of the word quite here can mean to respond but it can also mean to get back at the Knight for his tale


The Millere, that for dronken was al pale,

So that unnethe upon his hors he sat,

He nolde avalen neither hood ne hat,

Ne abiden no man for his curteisye,

But in Pilates vois he gan to crye

And swoor, "By armes and by blood and bones,

I can a noble tale for the nones,

With which I wol now quite the Knightes tale."

The Miller's Prologue

- Chaucer

- the Miller picks up on the double meaning of the word quite and uses it in terms of getting back at

- says he can tell a noble tale but tells a fabliau

- IMPORTANT: Chaucer writes after the 1381 rebellion in which peasants attempted to gain power from the aristocrats and King (people were mad about milling rights)


But first I make a protestacioun,

That I am dronke; I knowe it by my soun.

And therfore it that I mysspeke or seye,

Wyte it the ale of Southwerk, I you preye.

The Miller's Prologue

- Chaucer

- is basically saying don't take me seriously I am so plastered so I will probably mess something up

- but who is this supposed to be a joke to in terms of estate satire: the aristocrats because he's a sloppy drunk or at the expense of the aristocrats because his story is funny and witty?


And therfore every gentil wight I preye,

For Goddes love, demeth nat that I seye

Of yvel entente, but for I moot reherce

Hir tales alle, be they bet* or werse,

Or elles falsen som of my mateere.

And therfore, whoso list it nought yheere,

Turne over the leef and chese another tale;

For he shal fynde ynowe,* grete and smale,

Of storial* thyng that toucheth gentillesse,

And eek moralitee and hoolynesse.

Blameth nought me if that ye chese amis....

Aviseth you,* and putte me out of blame:

And eek men shal nought maken ernest of game.

The Miller's Prologue

- Chaucer

- this is the Chaucer Pilgrim's apology

- basically says don't blame me for reading this, you could have skipped it because I warned you what this would be about so if you don't like it, the fault is all yours

- Implicates if the audience keeps reading, it's their fault because they were warned a dirty tale was coming

- Author's responsibility to tell the truth? He has to retell exactly how he heard them; "I'm, only repeating what I heard"


Hir mouth was as sweete as bragot or the meeth,

Or hoord of apples laid in hay or heeth.

Winsing she was as is a joly colt

She was a primerole, a piggsnye,

For any lord to leggen in his bedde

The Miller's Tale

- Chaucer

- setting up Allison to be the opposite of Emily as a heroine

- compares her to farm animals, food, dolls, as peasants are often associated with nature rather than culture

- emphasis on her wild sexuality as it sets up later for how Nicholas will woo her

- basically says she's good enough to have sex with but not good enough to marry

- but presents itself as though she has option of who she wants to have sex with


And prively he caughte hire by the quinte,

And saide "Ywis but if ich have my wille,

For derne love of thee, lemman, I spille,

And heeld hire harde by the haunche-bones,

And saide, "Lemman, love me al atones,

Or I wol Diem, also God save me."

The Millers Tale

- Chaucer

- dirty but in a subtle way

- aspects of courtly love "I will die if I can't have you, lemman (aristocratic term of affection)

- I spille / Quiente / grabbing her by the thighs, crotch (OPPOSITE OF COURTLY LOVE)

- narrator is seemingly okay with these offenses because she is a peasant (she is a wild animal therefore should be mated like one)


Thus swived was the carpenteres wif

For al his keeping and his jalousye,

And Absolon hath kist hir nether ye,

And Nicholas is scaled in the toute:

This tale is doon, and God save al the route!

The Miller's Tale

- Chaucer

- neat little wrap up to everyone's story

- reply to the knights tale: it should be about the lack of order and the lack of morals

- all men are punished in the way they hate

- Absolon is squeamish and hates farts but is punished by one

- Nicholas gets a hot coulter to the butt so harsh that he feels he will die (which is a response to him thinking that courtly love would kill him)


And whan that I have told thee forth my tale

Of tribulacioun in mariage,

Of which I am expert in al myn age–

This is to saye, myself hathe been the whippe–

Thanne maistou chese...

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

- Chaucer

- she's basically saying I was so mean to my first three husbands

- I am an expert in this (being an awful person to your spouse) not just because she has caused it but because she has experienced it


...tho housbondes that I hadde,

As three of hem were goode, and two were badde.

The three men were goode, and riche, and olde;

Unnethe myght they the statut holde

In which that they were bounden unto me–

Ye woot wel what I mene of this, pardee.

How pitously anight I made hem swinke

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

- Chaucer

- her three husbands were good in the sense of valuable or prosperous (Able to provide her with material desires)

- the wife is basically saying she made her husbands give her things, make them have sex with her, and take the things they give her

- sex worked as a payment owed in marriage (sexual control / sexual economics she controls in her first three marriages)

- but she also has her own economic freedom (through the cloth business)

- she basically portrays every medieval misogynists vision of a woman BUT this can also be read as protofeminist because she is taking control of her own story


Now of my fifthe housbonde wol I telle–

God lete his soule nevere come in helle–

And yit he was to me the moste shrewe

That feele I on my ribbes al by rewe,

And evere shal unto myn ending day

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

- Chaucer

- suffering of the flesh, she has no children, this isn't about sex it's just abuse

- she's saying that even though her husband beats her, she loves him


Men may devyne and glosen, up and doun,

But wel I woot, expres, without lye,

God bad us for to wexe and multiplye

That gentil text can I wel understonde

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

- Chaucer

- men can bend the text (gloss) to their own will but she understands that God says have sex, have children!

- she is implying that men are falsifying their interpretation


But in oure bed he was so fressh and gay,

And therwithal so wel koude he me glose,

Whan that he wolde han my bele chose

That though he hadde me bet on every boon,

He coulde winne again my love anoon

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

- Chaucer

- she is using gloss in the sense to flatter or smooth talk

- so even though he beats her, she suggests that he is literally such a smooth talker and good in bed he could be the daylight out of her and she would immediately forgive him because he can smooth talk her so well


Who painted the leon, tel me who?

By God if wommen hadden writen stories,

As clerkes han within hir oratories,

They wolde han writen of men more wikkednesse

Than al the merk of Adam may redresse

The Wife of Bath Prologue

- Chaucer

- if women got to tell the stories, they could come up with just as many terrible things to say about men as the existing stories they have created about them

- if women had power and mastery in the sense of their tales, they would be different

- medieval misogyny: not because women are awful but because religious men are in control of the story


But at laste with muchel care and wo

We fille accorded by us selven two.

He yaf me al the bridel in myn hand,

To han the governance of house and land.

And of his tonge and his hand also;

And made him brenne his book annonright tho.

And whan that I hadde geten unto me

By maistrye al the soverinetee [mastery, dominance]

And that he saide, "Myn owene trwew wif,

Do as thee lust the terme of al thy life;

Keep thyn honour, and keep eek myn estat,"

After that day we hadde nevere debat.

God help me so, I was to him as kinde

As any wif from Denmark unto Inde,

And also trewe, and so was he to me.

The Wife of Bath's Prologue

- Chaucer

- Jenkin gives her mastery (she controls his words and their land)

- prologue ends: if men cede control to women and give them mastery of their own lives and tales everyone will be happy!