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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Geofon DeaĆ°e Hweop: Poetic Sea Imagery as Anglo-Saxon Cultural Archetype
by Wilt, Brian David, M.A., Truman State University, 2014, 90; 1564553
Abstract (Summary)

The oceans and seas play a fascinating role in human culture and literature. This thesis examines the sea imagery in several Anglo-Saxon poems in order to gain a deeper understanding of the function the sea plays in the Anglo-Saxon literary psyche. These texts include Beowulf, Andreas, Exodus, as well as the shorter "Seafarer" and "Whale" poems. The first part of this thesis focuses on sea imagery at the word level, analyzing Anglo-Saxon morphology and lexical compounding as a key to the metaphorical content of sea-kennings. The second part expands this focus to a textual level, examining the symbolism of sea imagery in Anglo-Saxon literature as an anthropomorphic will-power, a habitat of the monstrous, and a place of heroic action. Finally, the last part will argue for an underlying cultural archetype of the sea, based on parallel passages and common themes involving the sea in Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Davis, Adam
Commitee: Hintz, Ernst, Richter, Gregory
School: Truman State University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Medieval literature, British and Irish literature
Keywords: Anglo-saxon archetype, Old english, Poetry, Sea imagery, Sea poetry
Publication Number: 1564553
ISBN: 978-1-321-17031-3
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