Wisdom Literature (Old English) (1276 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay


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Wisdom literature is difficult to define for a modern audience because the category has all but fallen out of use. For the most part, knowledge has taken the place of wisdom. And while these categories may at first sight seem very similar, the in the kind of world view they represent they are markedly different. In Anglo-Saxon England, wisdom is essentially old, handed down and traditional, whereas today knowledge is new, all about research and innovation; wisdom is concrete, obvious and knowable by all, whereas modern knowledge is abstract, difficult and expert; Old English wisdom is communal and popular, whereas knowledge today is elitist and individualistic. The Anglo-Saxons valued wisdom, and expressed it particularly in maxims …

Citation: Cavill, Paul. "Wisdom Literature (Old English)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1274, accessed 28 October 2021.]

1274 Wisdom Literature (Old English) 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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