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Two Lives of Charlemagne

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The main focus of Einhards work was the official life of Charlemagne, wich entailed the wars he participated in, te key political decision that he took, te civil society projects he implemented, ec. The coverage of Kings family and personal life is kept to a minimum, a is the convention of the time. As for the literary qualities of the work, Enhards style is reminiscent of Suetonius who wrote during the peak of the Roman Empire. Te alternate biography written by Notker the Stammerer (or Monk of Saint Gall) across as less academic and more light-hearted.

Here, te author takes several literary liberties and seems to sacrifice historical accuracy in order to achieve aesthetic effect. The language is florid and the picture painted of the King larger than life. Of the two biographies, tis is certainly the more hyperbolic (if not also sycophantic). Notker the Stammerers book is certainly the more humorous. In a display of self-depreciating humour, te author refers to himself as the stammering, tothless old man as a way of distinguishing from other Notkers in Kings court.

Notker also focuses on the personality attributes of the King, sch as his generosity, auity of mind, ec. The Kings prudent decision making, te set of principles he follows, ec were also touched upon. He also brings out the darker sides of the King, sch as his tendency to be spiteful, hs intolerance for dissent, ad the brutality of some of his punishments. Indeed, rading through Of Charlemagne one cant escape being in the world of magic realism. If novelists such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman were said to pioneer this new genre in literary fiction, ten it is fair to say that Notkers work is one of its earliest expressions in the non-fiction form (irrespective of factual inaccuracies and exaggerations in the book).

Ntkers work is directed to the plebeian lot, a can be learned from the style of prose employed, te areas in which emphasis is laid, ec. I contrast, oe gets the impression that Einhards work was directed to an elite audience such as fellow historians, curtiers and other intellectuals of the For example, a translator Lewis Thorpe notes in his introduction to the book, “n his introduction Einhard states his aims: tey are to write the public history of Charlemagne and to describe the...

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preview essay on Two Lives of Charlemagne
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Masters
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