Study Guide

The Cattle Raid of Cooley Essay

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The following essay considers various characteristics and puzzling questions that the Táin presents.

Creative Literature or Functional Writing?

What then of Táin Bó Cúailnge? While the earliest references to the events of the tale occur in a genealogical context, as early as the eighth century the Ulster Cycle would seem to have acquired a literary autonomy. For instance, the originally independent saga Táin Bó Fróich (Fróich's cattle-driving) was adapted in the eighth century to function as a foretale to the greater Táin. Motifs of the cycle are already parodied in two eighth-century tales, Scéla Muicce meic Dathó (The story of Mac Da Thó's pig), and Fled Bricrenn (Bricriu's feast).

While Recension II of the Táin conforms more to modern expectations of an aesthetic creation, presenting...

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This section contains 5,811 words
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The Cattle Raid of Cooley from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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