Some of these dioceses afterwards became more famous under other names. Thus Ramsbury was later on represented by Salisbury or Sarum, which, owing to the influence of St. Similarly, the sees established at Dorchester, Elmham, and Crediton were after the Conquest transferred to the far more famous cities of Lincoln, Norwich, and Exeter. Other bishoprics at one time renowned, such as those of Hexham and Ripon, were suppressed or merged into more important dioceses.
What is the ethical power of literature? Can it diminish acts of injuring, and if it can, what aspects of literature deserve the credit?
All these questions, at first, hinge on another: In his recent book The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker argues that, over 50 centuries, many forms of violence have subsided. Reforms were immediately preceded by a startling increase in book production e. The pokey little world of village and clan, accessible through the five senses and informed by a single content provider, the church, gave way to a phantasmagoria of people, places, cultures, and ideas.
Three come immediately to mind: Because empathy is so fundamental to literature, it has been defended, doubted, berated, and celebrated countless times. And though it deserves to be examined countless times more, I will not dedicate space to it here except to note the following.
If this recognition occurs in a large enough population, then a law against injuring others can be passed, after which the prohibition it expresses becomes freestanding and independent of sensibility. It was anticipated by the second attribute of literature that works against injury: Anthem-wise; [the Greek Homer uses] being such Orations as were made pro and con upon the same argument.
The Iliad is an epic ignited by the dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon, and we are more likely to associate dispute with epic poetry or with plays, as in the drama contests of fifth-century Greece.
That an anthem, or hymn of praise, holds disputing voice within it reminds us that there is nothing anti-lyric about this deliberative structure. Many styles of poetry bring us face to face with acts of deliberation.
Titles in Sumerian, Akkadien, Assyrian, and Babylonian poems often resemble those above: Just as, then, Pinker and Hunt see the sudden rise of literacy, publishing, and the novel as instigating or at least assisting the legal reforms that together form the Humanitarian Revolution in the eighteenth century, so the dispute structure of poetry from Homer forward helps to nourish three arenas of disputation in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries whose purpose—at least in the parliaments and law courts—is diminution of injury.
In fact the claims made about dispute greatly resemble what we can say about empathy. What they have in common is not just the recognition that there are multiple points of view, two sides to every coin, but also the chance to practice, and thereby to deepen and strengthen that recognition.
More important, both dispute and empathetic narrative require one to think counterfactually, to think the thing that one does not oneself hold to be the case.
But we attend to both. If we imagine a dispute poem becoming a novel, all that has happened is that the factual side has fallen away and we are presented only with the counterfactual.
We are just given the counterfactual from start to finish. There are at least three paths by which beauty contributes to this outcome. Second, beauty interrupts and gives us sudden relief from our own minds. Feeling acute pleasure at finding oneself on the margins is a first step in working toward fairness.
Diotima tells Socrates who tells Plato who tells us that coming into the presence of a beautiful person or thing gives rise to the desire to bring children into the world. Diotima says contact with the beautiful also gives rise to the desire to create poems, legal treatises, and works of philosophy.
Modern philosophers such as Wittgenstein have said the same. Recognizing our own capacity for creating is again a prerequisite for working for justice: So anything that awakens us to our own power of creation is a first step in working to eliminate asymmetries and injuries.
Let us imagine we can do away with hesitation and affirm the open-and-shut truth of these propositions. The next question would be whether literature does its beneficial work on its own, across a diffuse, population-wide terrain, or whether its beneficent effects are accelerated by intensely individualized, person-by-person instruction.
From everything that has been said so far it seems clear that shifts in ethical behavior require a sea change across wide populations of readers. This means, as we have long known, that the main work of the humanities is to ensure that books are placed in the hands of each incoming wave of students and carried back out to sea.
Probably, though, teachers and readers need to do more. We should give more attention to making clear the lines of responsibility to real-world injuries and the call to that work that is embedded in the three key features of literature.Beowulf Beowulf was written by a Anglo-Saxon Scop, or storyteller, and tells a story about a hero, Beowulf, who comes to help the Danes fight the dreaded Grendal.
Beowulf is a classic epic hero and is honored by being passed down in the story. This paper argues that, on the contrary, the hall, particularly as it (dis)appears in Beowulf, serves to introduce and reinforce themes of limitation and indeterminacy in the human activity of making meaning, as practiced both by the Anglo-Saxon builders and poets and by contemporary scholars.
Anglo Saxon Poetry Kindle Edition and would recommend picking up other works first. Read more. 16 people found this helpful.
Helpful. Comment Report abuse. Sarah. out of 5 stars Good! October 29, Format of the material.
My copy is the hardback, and I must say that it provides nearly the entire breadth of my Anglo-Saxon Reviews: 5. Apr 21, · Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf has been the subject of much scholarly study, theory, speculation, discourse, and, at lines, has been noted for its length.
Examination of Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon poetry for evidence of oral-formulaic composition has met with mixed. Beowulf an epic hero essay Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay - According to the definition, a hero is one who embodies the values of their society. In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, the character Beowulf.
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