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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Maria V. Yatsenko
  • Pages: 293–336
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Translation, Interpretation, Commentary in the Eastern and Western Literature
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Yatsenko, M.V. “Old English Poem Exodus: Ways of Reflecting the Senses of Scripture in the Poetics of the Christian Epic.” Perevod, interpretatsiia, kommentarii v literaturakh Vostoka i Zapada [Translation, Interpretation, Commentary in the Eastern and Western Literature], ex. ed. by Olga E. Nesterova and others. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 293–336. (In Russ.)

Information about the author:

Maria V. Yatsenko, DSc in Philology, Docent, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign and Russian languages, Bonch-Bruevich Saint-Petersburg State University of Telecommunications, Bolshevikov Ave., 22/1, 193232 St. Petersburg, Russia.


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The article deals with the principles of creating the Anglo-Saxon Christian epic and is based on the Old English poem Exodus. Consecutive analysis of the history of reception and interpretation of the biblical text allows to reproduce the tradition of commenting and studying the text of the Scripture, known to the Anglo-Saxons. The poetics of Christian epic is viewed on the main components of the epic text (beginning of the text, epic variation, retardation, description of the battle, composition of the text as a whole). These constituent parts of the text are analysed from the point of view of their semantics and the associations with the tradition of the interpretation of the biblical plots. Preserving the multiple senses inherent to the epic text, the Christian epic gains additional senses, connected with the tradition of allegorical interpretation of the Bible. The orientation of the basic stylistic devices to allegoreza i. e. urging the reader to use the main types of allegorical interpretation (typological, anagogic, allegorical) is significant for the text. Most of the analysed passages would remain unclear without it. The stylistic devices have enlarged their functions: the beginning of the text attracted the attention to understanding the Old Testament in the context of the New one, epic variation served not only the repetitive nomination of the object but also to show their allegorical meanings, digression allowed to include typological parallels.

  • Keywords: Old English Christian epic, poem Exodus, allegoreza, the senses of Scripture, biblical paraphrases.


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