Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry

  title={Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry},
  author={Francis Peabody Magoun},
  pages={446 - 467}
IN the course of the last quarter-century much has been discovered about the techniques employed by unlettered singers in their composition of narrative verse. Whereas a lettered poet of any time or place, composing (as he does and must) with the aid of writing materials and with deliberation, creates his own language as he proceeds, the unlettered singer, ordinarily composing rapidly and extempore before a live audience, must and does call upon ready-made language, upon a vast reservoir of… 
The Germanic Heldenlied and the Poetic Edda : Speculations on Preliterary History
One of the proudest inventions of German scholarship in the nineteenth century was the Heldenlied, the heroic song, which was seen by scholars as the main conduit of Germanic heroic legend from the
Literary art and oral tradition in Old English and Serbian poetry
Oral literature research entered Old English literature through Albert Lord's 1949 dissertation, eleven years later to become The Singer of Tales , and Francis P. Magoun, Jr's ensuing essay, ‘The
Performance in the Anglo-Saxon poetic imagination
This thesis proposes a distinct, poetic conception of ‘artistry’ (the collective term incorporating performer, performance, and musical instrument used in the thesis) in early medieval England.
The Ethnography of Scribal Writing and Anglo-Saxon Poetry: Scribe as Performer
What is the nature of writing and what is the role of the scribe in a culture in which speech has not lost its primacy? If we think of AngloSaxon scribal writing in terms of “ethnopoetics,” we can
Oral Traditional Approaches to Old English Verse
Since the publication of Francis P. Magoun’s (1953) seminal article on the formula in Anglo-Saxon narrative verse, oral traditional approaches in the field of Old English have undergone a number of
Formulaic analysis of the computer-accessible corpus of Latvian sun-songs
Classical scholars have known for quite some time that dawn in the Homeric epics is as often as not rose-fingered, the sea wine-colored and Athena bright-eyed. Similarly, in the Russian byliny, a
Sound Effects: The Oral/Aural Dimensions of Literature in English: Introduction
Sound Effects traces the history of the relationship between oral conditions and aural effect in English literature from its beginnings in the Anglo-Saxon period through to the twentyfirst century.
English literature in the ninth century
It is argued that a combination of political, intellectual and spiritual imperatives, both within England and from the continent, underlay the emergence of a vernacular literary culture in English in the ninth century.
Formulas and Vocabulary of Ritual Speech in Old English Heroic Epic (Based on Direct Speech in the Poem Beowulf)
The paper deals with the linguistic and poetic analysis of the formula ‘X maþelode’ (‘someone said’) in comparison to other ways of introducing direct speech in the Old English heroic epic poem
Crying wolf: oral style and the Sermones Lupi
Archbishop Wulfstan enjoyed a high reputation as a stylist amongst his contemporaries; when he was still bishop of London (996-1002) one correspondent spoke of the 'very sweet wisdom of [his]


7 bA' aselelingas. Cp. without def. art. but with a preceding word, usually of light stress Gen 1059 bA6ra-be ael6elingas
    Swa wuldres Weard wordum seegde, Meotod mann-cynnes, &r on morgen, P1Ts-1e Dryhten God of dea6e aras
      Bwf 897 Weelses eafora; 1847 Hreles eaforan; Gen 1133 S6thes eafora, 2054 pares eafora
        beod-cyningas / brymme micele; gen. sg. Bwf 2694 bh ic cet bearfe gefreegn / beod-cyninges
          Jul 675 on swan-rade; Bwf 1429 on segl-rade
            Sw(a sceal man d6n; cp. 2066 Swa sceal m'eg d6n, 2590 swa sceal x'ghwel6 mann. 21b Cp
            • Men 136 Zebedes eafora. Cp. also Gen 1578 eafora Noes, 2834 eafora p]ares. 19b Bwf 2357 Fris-landum on; Gen 1052 east-landum on. Cp. Jul
            Rid 40, 44 and i6 giestran geong cenned. 13a Phx 355, 647; Chr 201 geongre on geardum
              Bwf 1588 hraw wide sprang
                Hwaet, we hierdon oft / baet se halige wer
                  2402 (dracan), 2744 (hord). 523a Cp. Chr 1071 e6e and edgeong. 523b Gen 1840; XSt 116, 278. Cp. Chr 1233 swa hie geworhton &r
                  • Bwf