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Be sure to read the introduction to this section The Formation of a Western Literature 1541 1545 carefully Latin as a universal language of the educated and the continentwide domination of the Catholic Church made a European culture possible By the way Catholic doesnt have the denominational implications in this period that it does since the Reformation There was only one Church even if there were some splinter groups Some literature was written in local languages as well-The Wanderer in Anglo-Saxon Villons poems in Medieval French Dantes Divine Comedy in Italian These works anticipate the development of national literatures at a later period The Wanderer The introduction to this poem describes the Anglo-Saxon fourbeat line Each line has four accented syllables and any number of unaccented syllables In Anglo-Saxon at least three of the four beats alliterate with any vowel alliterating with any other vowel It is a vigorous and dramatic meter The translator has reproduced it fairly well in his modern English version Even though modern English descends from Anglo-Saxon they are different languages Two voices speak in this poem The first voice introduces the Wanderer who is the second voice and also concludes the poem The first voice is more pious and optimistic than the second voice The Wanderer has a bleak view of life-Man is fleeting maid is fleeting All the foundation of earth shall fail 1625101102 The second voice concluding implies that the Wanderer is a sage a good man guarding his faith The last two lines close with a conventionally pious note on seeking Gods mercy The Wanderer doesnt seem to see God as merciful at all-The Warden of men hath wasted this world 162477 The Wanderers words reflect the prechristian Germanic and Anglo-Saxon view of life as short and difficult with princes and heroes as the most admirable and enviable of men yet even their days of glory are shortlived-Where now is the warrior The
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