Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Language, Literature, History

Renée Trilling
2013 Journal of English and Germanic Philology  
the king], and filled the land full of castles." For a century after the Norman Conquest, castles had a bad reputation as centers of robbery, extortion, torture, and treason. This pejorated view continues in King Horn where, as Garner notes, castel appears "in conjunction with motives of treachery and greed" (p. 231). By contrast, castel is rather more neutral in Brut and Havelok, and positive, perhaps even assimilated to hall, in Sir Orfeo and Gawain and the Green Knight. (Orfeo's "hey haules
more » ... boures" [Ashmole MS l. 159] seem like interior spaces in a castle to me, although Garner's interpretation of these as separate from "castles and towers" is also possible [p. 240].) Garner contextualizes the rivalry and accommodation of hall and castel as part of the disintegration of formulaic tradition. She is right, of course, but the specialization of hall and the amelioration of castel, as linguistic processes, are quite independent of poetry.
doi:10.5406/jenglgermphil.112.4.0515 fatcat:fqf4e5pv2nheni4tuldsq5fqae