History of english literature

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Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and the Renaissance: An Overview General Historical Timeline  Britons  Roman Conquest (55 B.C –       410 A.D.) Angles, Saxons and Jutes invade Danish Invasion (King Alfred the Great) Norman Conquest (1066) Feudal England (Peasants, Nobility, and Clergy) Hundred Years’ War (13371453) War of the Roses (1455-1485): Lancaster v York  Reformation (Henry VIII v      Rome = Church of England) Counter-Reformation (Queen Mary Reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) Defeat of the Spanish “Armada” (1588) Renaissance (Rebirth of Letters) – Started Italy 14th C., spread to Europe Interest in Classical Literature (Greek and Roman) and Humanity Caxton – Printing Press (1475) General Literary Timeline  Oral Stories  Beowulf, Dream of the Rood, and     other A-S poems Medieval Romances, translated from French or Latin (Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur) Langland’s Piers the Plowman English Ballads (songs/chants): Robin Hood Chaucer (Troilus and Crieseyde, The Canterbury Tales) – First to bring his own voice to English literature and incorporate Heroic Couplet*  First English Bible (14th C.)  Thomas More (Utopia)  Translation, Travel and Lyric      poems The Sonnet Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene Miracle Plays Christopher Marlowe (Doctor Faustus) Shakespeare and His Contemporaries Beowulf  A-S poem  Taken from Oral History and Stories  Written down and influenced by Christian Monks  Alliterative Verse  Metaphor and idiom  Understatement  Meant to be read aloud or sung Medieval Romances  Translated from French or Latin  Focuses on one Romantic “Hero”  Matters of Britain (King Arthur)  Matters of France (Charlemagne)  Matters of Rome (Alexander the Great)  See: Le Morte D’Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Havelok the Dane, etc Piers the Plowman  Written by William Langland (c.1330-c.1400)  Alliterative verse (but in Early Middle English)  Dream Poem  Allegory – using symbols to relate truth  Shows Feudal England  Exaltation of the oppressed peasant Ballads  Peasant’s literature (oral)  Story told in song, usually in 4-line stanzas (abcb rhyme)  Oral history, written down much later  Robin Hood (The Geste of Robin Hood) Chaucer  1340-c.1400  French influence (The Romaunt of the Rose) - translation  Italian influence (Troilus and Criseyde) - adaption  English originality (The Canterbury Tales) – new and original  Language: Rhymed Stanza; Heroic Couplet (French) = Blank Verse + Rhyming Couplet; Iambic Pentameter Thomas More  1478-1535  Middle Class scholar and lawyer  Executed by Henry VIII because of disagreements  Utopia – More’s vision of an ideal commonwealth  Book – picture of contemporary England  Book – Sketch of More’s ideal Lyrical Poems  Renaissance and Elizabethan Era brought about interest in Classics, Humanism and nationalist feeling  Translations of Italian and French as well as Latin and Greek  Travel Literature  Lyrical Poems  Thousands of lyrical poems  Introduction of the Sonnet The Sonnet  14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter (blank verse)  kinds:  English Sonnet (Shakespearean) has rhyme: abab, cdcd, efef, gg  Italian (Petrarchan) has octave (two quatrains) forming the proposition followed by sestet (two tercets) forming the resolution rhyme: abba abba, cde cde (or cdc cdc)  All lines have 10 syllables  Also, Occitan, Spenserian, and Modern Sonnets Edmund Spencer  1552-1599  The Faerie Queene – long poem in 12 books (only finished)  Faerie Queene (Elizabeth I) holds feast of 12 days, each day a stranger in distress asks for help and a knight is assigned to help  Each knight represents a virtue; and war against a vice  Blend of Modernism, Humanism, and Medievalism  Spenserian Stanza: iambic pentameter +1 line of iambic feet; rhyme: ababbcbcc [...]... poem in 12 books (only 6 finished)  Faerie Queene (Elizabeth I) holds feast of 12 days, each day a stranger in distress asks for help and a knight is assigned to help  Each knight represents a virtue; and war against a vice  Blend of Modernism, Humanism, and Medievalism  Spenserian Stanza: 8 iambic pentameter +1 line of 6 iambic feet; rhyme: ababbcbcc ...The Sonnet  14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter (blank verse)  2 kinds:  English Sonnet (Shakespearean) has rhyme: abab, cdcd, efef, gg  Italian (Petrarchan) has octave (two quatrains) forming the proposition followed by sestet (two tercets) forming
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