Malpas, Simon. Wordsworth, Carroll and the 'Aged, Aged Man.'" Malpas compares Wordsworth's encounter with the old man in "Resolution and Independence" to Lewis Carroll's parody in . 5 (1997).
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O'Neill, Michael. An interpretation of Wordsworth's . 3 (1996).
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This page: : 2000 BCE-1321 CE : 1321-1832 : 1832-1900 : 20th Century
Through literature we can discover new meanings, locate and beginto cross bridges between seemingly distant or dissimilar persons,places, things, and thoughts.
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In Northern Europe among the Vikings, the Vanir fertility deities had close connectons with burial mounds. An echo of this may reverberate in Anglo-Saxon society, where the burial mound at Sutton Hoo included an entire longboat buried intact within the hill, suggesting the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons may have imagined the dead sailing into the afterlife. In The Elder Edda, the story of "The Waking of Agantyr" recounts how individuals could enter barrows to communicate with the dead at great risk to themselves. Hervor enters a barrow and finds it wreathed in white supernatural flames inside, shere the confronts her dead father and requests his magic sword Tyrfing, an heirloom of dwarvish manufacture. Other Viking legends suggested that draugar (blood-drinking corpses) lived in barrows, guarding the treasure therein.
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Perhaps inspired by the legends of draugar, Tolkien created "barrow-wights," and Frodo's group encounters such a creature before Tom Bombadil comes to their rescue in The Lord of the Rings. Cf. , .
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Given how a barrow is a gravesite, many legends, literary works, and cultural practices connect them with death. For instance, when Beowulf fights the dragon in Beowulf, the dragon's lair is a barrow, which possibly foreshadows the hero's death at the end of that combat. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Chapel turns out to be a barrow, and Sir Bertilak comes whirling up out of the mound with a new ax to threaten Sir Gawain with decapitation. In Ireland, the Sidhe and the Tuatha de Danann dwelled under or inside such barrows, apparently commingling fairyland and the Underworld of the dead, and apparently bonfires were lit on the top of mounds on Samhain (Halloween) night, perhaps to placate, drive away, or honor the spirits of the dead.