Kennings:

  • poetic phrase, a figure of speech, substituted for the usual name of a person or thing. Kennings work in much the same way, like a nickname or slang and were commonly inserted into Old English poetic lines.
Kennings
Primary meaning
Secondary/implied/allusive meaning
Ægir's daughters
waves
Ægir had nine daughters called billow maidens who were personifications of the waves.
bait-gallows
hook

Baldur's bane
mistletoe
The kenning derives from the story in which all plants and creatures swore never to harm Baldur, save the mistletoe which was overlooked and which Loki used to bring about Baldur's death by tricking Hodur.
blood-ember
axe

brow-stars
eyes

breaker of trees
wind

Feed the eagle
kill enemies
Killing enemies left food for the eagles
feeder of ravens
warrior
Ravens feed on dead bodies left after a battle.
flame-farewelled
death
Implicitly honourable death
Hanged god
Odin
Odin hung on the Tree of Knowledge for nine days in order to gain wisdom.
ice
silver

Kraki's seed
gold
Hrólf Kraki spread gold on the Fyris Wolds to distract the men of the Swedish king. Can also be used to imply generosity; q.v. Hrólf Kraki
Mountain of the hawk
arm
in falconeering, the hawk rests on the arm of its master
Onion of war
Sword

raven harvest
corpse
battle-field corpses
sea-steeds
Ships

serpent's lair
gold
Serpents (and dragons) were reputed to lie upon gold in their nests
slaughter-dew
blood

sleep of the sword
death

spear-din
battle

valley-trout
serpent

weather of weapons
war

whale's way
the sea





Foreshadowing:

  • Literary term meaning to show or indicate beforehand or forcast the future.

  • Examples of foreshadowing in Anglo-Saxon literature:
    • In Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo Baggins kept looking at the ring, it implied that the ring was not just special to him, but important to the plot.
external image Lord-of-the-Rings.JPG
    • In the book Beowulf, Wealhtheow is the wife of Hrothgar. She is portrayed as aware of the politics of the court and cautious for the well-being of her family. In Beowulf, she foreshadows some events that later happen to her family. An example of such an instance would be when she foreshadows the fall of the Great Hall caused by her family.

external image Beowulf.jpg
Links:

http://poor-blogger.blogspot.com/2007/04/anglo-saxon-kennings.html
http://thewritingplace.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/literary-elements-foreshadowing/
http://www.personal.psu.edu/kaf5027/blogs/kyle/2009/08/book-diary-22-graphic-novel-1.html
http://csis.pace.edu/grendel/women.htm
http://www.worthpoint.com/worth-points/auction-report-peanuts-strip-phillip-weiss