What are the common literary aspects of the Anglo-Saxon period?

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Numerous literary aspects of the Anglo-Saxon period exist.  I'll give you a brief rundown.

  • The vernacular language--English--thanks to efforts by men like Alfred the Great, began to be used as a written language by educated people, such as the clergy and the aristocracy.
  • Most literature we have from the period was finally written down by clergymen, after decades and centuries of oral recitation.
  • In recording the oral literature, the "scribes" occasionally added their own slant to the works they wrote down--a Christian slant.  Today, we call these additions interpolations.
  • The dominant literary devices used in poetry were designed to make oral literature more easily remembered.  The devices used include alliteration, caesuras, and poetic lines of four stressed beats per line, usually two on each side of the caesuras. 

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