A Guide to Old English (8th Edition) by Bruce Mitchell, Fred C. Robinson

By Bruce Mitchell, Fred C. Robinson

Publish yr note: First released 1964

A complete creation to outdated English, combining basic, transparent philology with the easiest literary works to supply a compelling and obtainable beginners' guide.

• offers a complete creation to outdated English
• makes use of a realistic technique fitted to the wishes of the start student
• gains choices from the best works of outdated English literature, equipped from easy to more difficult texts to maintain speed with the reader
• encompasses a dialogue of Anglo-Saxon literature, background, and tradition, and a bibliography directing readers to priceless guides at the subject
• up to date all through with new fabric together with the 1st 25 strains from Beowulf with exact annotation and an evidence of Grimm's and Verner's laws

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Extra info for A Guide to Old English (8th Edition)

Example text

What delightful note with rapid unexpected flutesounds leaping from the throat of the astute grown bird, comes back to one from the remote 20 Some Definitions unenergetic sun­ lit air before the brood was here? How harsh the bird's voice has become. A piebald cat observing them, is slowly creeping toward the trim trio on the tree-stem —the three fledglings the mother must protect. The penulti­ mate line of the fourth stanza ("the brood was here? How harsh") contains six syllables rather than seven; the next also has six, instead of four; and the first line of the next stanza is eight rather than nine syllables long.

One could scan these lines differently only by indicating the caesura, which is very weak in both and belongs only mar­ ginally to meter anyway (though it is important rhythmi­ cally). Yet Gray has linked the adjacent accents "tolls" and Some Definitions 23 "knell" with consonance for a primarily onomatopoeic effect, while Eliotjoins the separated, balanced accents "think" and "sing" with assonance to suggest a conceptual opposition. ) While Gray coordinates his accents with the important words, five nodes of significance, Eliot diffuses significance among his "ten low words" without much differentiating stress, words carefully chosen for their plain­ ness and their refusal to assume individual emphasis.

These anxieties sprang, as we have seen, from false prem­ ises. " Old confusions rose up to haunt them, and one espe­ cially led them into elaborate error. Mary Hall Leonard exemplified it in saying that Coleridge, Blake and Chatterton, "instead of the regular iambics of the Popian era,. . adopted an irregular iamb-anapestic form of rhythm which laid strong emphasis on the accented syllables, the number of weak sylla­ bles that were swept along with these being considerably var­ ied, and this became known as 'free' or 'accentual' verse" (68, 15).

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