English literature from the middle ages to our days anglo-Saxon Period



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ENGLISH LITERATURE

  • FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO OUR DAYS

Anglo-Saxon Period (5th – 10th centuries)

The British history is considered to begin in the 5th century, when the country was invaded from the Continent by the warlike tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes. At the very end of the 5th century they settled in Britain and began to call themselves English.

  • The British history is considered to begin in the 5th century, when the country was invaded from the Continent by the warlike tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes. At the very end of the 5th century they settled in Britain and began to call themselves English.
  • In those early days epic poems were created in many countries, such as: “Iliad” and “Odyssey” by Homer.
  • The main literary forms of the period were: lyric, riddle, epic and prose.

Medieval Period (11-15 cent)

  • Anglo-Norman
  • Period
  • (11-13 cent)
  • Pre-Renaissance
  • (14-15 cent)

Anglo-Norman Period

  • Anglo-Norman Period
  • (11-13 cent)
  • The Normans came from the north-west of France. They brought the culture of their country and the French language. Very popular with the Normans were romances – tales in verse praising the bravery and nobleness of knights. Many romances were based on Celtic legends – about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

  • The literature of the Church was scholastic, moralistic, and it supported the feudal system. The books written in Latin by monks taught the common people that their sufferings on earth would be rewarded in heaven.
  •  
  • Prosaic works started to appear in monasteries
  • (13th cent)

Pre-Renaissance (14th-15th centuries)

  • The 14th century was a difficult time for England. The country was waging the Hundred Year’s War with France. At the same time England suffered from three epidemics of the plague. But during this stormy period the English nation was being formed; English became the spoken language of the country; English literature was born.

Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 – 1400)

  • He was the greatest writer of the 14th century. He was born in London. He held a number of positions at the English king’s court and several times visited Italy and France on diplomatic missions. In Italy he got acquainted with the works of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, whose works were full of new optimistic ideas and love of life and had a great influence on Chaucer’s future works.

LITERATURE OF THE RENAISSANCE (16th-17th century)

In the 15th-16th centuries capitalist relations began to develop in Europe. The decay of feudalism and development of capitalist relations was followed by a great rise of the cultural life of Europe. It was then that great discoveries by Columbus, Magellan and other explorers were made, as well as astronomical discoveries by Copernicus, Bruno, and Galileo. There was a revival of interest in the ancient culture of Greece and Rome. The progressive ideology of the Renaissance was humanism. Human life, the happiness of people and belief in man’s abilities became the main subjects in fine arts and literature. The Renaissance is divided into three periods:

  • In the 15th-16th centuries capitalist relations began to develop in Europe. The decay of feudalism and development of capitalist relations was followed by a great rise of the cultural life of Europe. It was then that great discoveries by Columbus, Magellan and other explorers were made, as well as astronomical discoveries by Copernicus, Bruno, and Galileo. There was a revival of interest in the ancient culture of Greece and Rome. The progressive ideology of the Renaissance was humanism. Human life, the happiness of people and belief in man’s abilities became the main subjects in fine arts and literature. The Renaissance is divided into three periods:
  • 1.      The Rise of the Renaissance (1500-1558)
  • 2.      The Height of the Renaissance (1558-1603)
  • 3.      The Decline the Renaissance (1603-1649)

The Rise of the Renaissance (1500-1558)

  • Thomas Wyatt and Henry Surrey introduced the sonnet in the English literature.
  • Thomas More wrote
  • “Utopia”

The Height of the Renaissance (1558-1603)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

  • His literary work can be divided into three periods:
  • 1590 – 1600
  • 1601 – 1608
  • 1609 – 1612

The Decline of the Renaissance (1603-1649)

  • John Milton (1608 – 1674):
  • “Paradise Lost”
  • “Paradise Regained”
  • “Samson Agonistis”
  • His other works:
  • “L’Allegro”,
  • “Il Penseroso”
  • “Comus”
  • “Lycidas”
  • “Aeropagitica”

LITERATURE OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT (The 18th century)

The Enlighteners defended the interests of the common people – craftsmen, tradesmen and peasants. Their criticism was directed against social inequality and religious hypocrisy as well as the immorality of the aristocracy. The central philosophical problem was that of man and his nature.

  • The Enlighteners defended the interests of the common people – craftsmen, tradesmen and peasants. Their criticism was directed against social inequality and religious hypocrisy as well as the immorality of the aristocracy. The central philosophical problem was that of man and his nature.
  • In the period of Enlightenment the poetic forms of the Renaissance were replaced by prose. The didactic novel was born and became the leading genre of the period. Ordinary people, mostly representatives of the middle class, became the heroes of these novels. The characters, either good or bad, were accordingly, either rewarded or punished at the end of the novel. By these means the Enlighteners hoped to improve the morals of the people and society in general.

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

  • He is rightly considered the father of the English and the European novel:
  • - “An Essay on Projects” (1697)
  • - “The Shortest Way with the Dissenters” (1702)
  • - “Hymn to the Pillory”
  • - “The Life and the Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” (1719)
  • - “Captain Singleton”
  • - “Moll Flanders”
  • - “Roxana”

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

  • He was the greatest satirist in English literature.
  • “Journal for Stella” (1710-1713) – letters to his faithful lifelong friend Stella.
  • The allegory:
  • - “A Tale of a Tub”
  • The satire:
  • - “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People of Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents” (1729)
  • The novel:
  • - “Gulliver’s Travels” (1726)

PRE-ROMANTISISM (The end of the 18th century)

Robert Burns (1759-1796) He is a national poet of both Scotland and England.

  • “The Scots Musical Museum”
  • “Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs”
  • - “Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect” (1786)
  • Poems:
  • - “My Heart’s in the Highlands”
  • - “Bruce’s Address to his Army at Bannockburn”
  • - “Is There for Honest Poverty”
  • - “Revolutionary Lyric”
  • - “The Tree of Liberty”
  • - “The Jolly Beggars”
  • - “John Barleycorn”
  • - “Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose”
  • - “Auld Lang Syne”
  • - “The Toadeater”

William Blake (1757-1827)

  • “Poetical Sketches”
  • “Songs of Innocence”
  • “Songs of Experience”
  • “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”
  • “Milton”, and others

LITERATURE OF THE EARLY 19th CENTURY ROMANTICISM

George Gordon Noel Byron (1788-1824)

  • He is the greatest romantic revolutionary poet of England.
  • Byron’s creative work is usually divided into four periods:
  • The London Period (1812-1816)
  • The Swiss Period (May-October 1816)
  • The Italian Period (1816-1823)
  • The Greek Period (1823-1824)

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

  • “Queen Mab”
  • “Adonais”
  • “Prometheus Unbound”
  • “The Cloud”
  • “To a Skylark”
  • “The Indian Serenade”
  • “To the West Wind” and other lyrics.

Walter Scott (1771-1832)

  • “The Mystrelsy of the Scottish Border” – legends and popular ballads of Scotland.
  • “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”
  • “Marmion”
  • “The Lady of the Lake”
  • Poetry:

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

  • “Emma”
  • “Pride and Prejudice”
  • “Sense and Sensibility”
  • “Persuasion”
  • “Mansfield Park”
  • “Northanger Abbey”

LITERATURE FROM THE 1830s TO THE 1860s VICTORIAN LITERATURE

Early Victorian Literature

  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870):
  • The first period:
  • “Sketches by Boz” (1836)
  • “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club” (1837)
  • “American Notes”
  • “Oliver Twist”
  • “Nicholas Nickleby”
  • “Martin Chuzzlewit”
  • “A Christmas Carol”
  •  

The Bronte Sisters:

  • Charlotte Bronte: “Jane Eyre”, “The Professor”, “Villette”, “Shirley”.
  • Emily Bronte: ”Wuthering Heights”, poems.
  • Anne Bronte: “Agnes Grey”, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

  • “The Book of Snobs”
  • “Vanity Fair, A Novel without a Hero”
  • “Pendennis”
  • “The Newcomes”
  • “Henry Esmond”
  • “The Virginians”

Poetry G.A.Tennyson (1801-1892):

  • “Maud”
  • “The Death of Oenone”
  • “In Memorium”
  • “The Idylls of the King”
  • and other poems

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

  • “Paracelsus”
  • “The Ring and the Book”
  • and other poems

Late Victorians POSITIVISM

  • “Mill on the Floss”
  • “Middlemarch”
  • G. Eliot (Mary Ann Evans):

  • Novels:
  • “The Egoist”
  • “Beauchamp’s Career”
  • George Meredith (1829-1909)

Thomas Hardy (1814-1928)

  • “The Return of the Native”
  • “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”
  • “Jude the Obscure”

Samuel Butler :

  • “The Way of All Flesh”
  • “Erewhon”

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

  • He was the most outstanding
  • representative of Decadence.
  • Novel:
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1890)
  • Three Essays of Intentions:
  • “The Decay of Lying”
  • “The Critic as an Artist”
  • “Pen, Pencil and Poison”

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

  • The novels:
  • “Treasure Island”
  • “Kidnapped”
  • “The Black Arrow”
  • “Catriona”
  • “The Master of Ballantrae”
  • Books of poems for little children:
  • “A Child’s Garden of Verse”
  • Story:
  • “The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
  •  

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

  • Poetry:
  • “Departmental Ditties”
  • “Recessional”
  • “The Barrack Room Ballads”
  • Novels:
  • “Kim”
  • “The Light that Failed”
  • Two “Jungle Books”

LITERATURE OF THE EARLY 20th CENTURY

John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

  • “The Island of Pharisees” (1904)
  • Trilogies:
  • “The Forsyte Saga” consists of:
  • -     “The Man of Property” (1906)
  • -   “In Chancery” (1920)
  • -        “To Let” (1921)
  • “A Modern Comedy” consists of:
  • -         “The White Monkey” (1925)
  • -         “The Silver Spoon” (1926)
  • -         “Swan Song” (1928)
  • “End of the Chapter”
  • - “Maid in Waiting”
  • - “Flowering Wilderness”
  • - “Over the River”

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946)

  • “Russia in the Shadows”
  • “The Time Machine”
  • “The Invisible Man”
  • “The War of the Worlds”
  • “The First Men on the Moon”
  • “The Island of Dr. Moreau”

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

  • Comedies:
  • “Plays Unpleasant”:
  • “Widower’s Houses” (1892)
  • “The Philanderer” (1893)
  • “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” (1894)
  • “Plays Pleasant”:
  •   “Arms and the Man” (1894)
  •  “Candida” (1894)
  • “The Man of Destiny” (1895)
  • “You Never Can Tell” (1897)

LITERATURE BETWEEN THE TWO WORLD WARS

  • English writers reacted differently to the complicated and constantly changing situation of the 1910-1930s. Some of them continued the traditions of social realism; others preferred to turn away from the acute topical issues. They were searching for new themes and modes of expression, and fell under the influence of Decadence, which at the beginning of the 20th century acquired the name of modernism. Modernism became the leading trend in this period.

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)

  • “Mrs.Dalloway”(1925)
  • “To the Lighthouse” (1927)
  • “Orlando” (1928)
  • “The Waves” (1931)

D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

  • Novels:
  • “Sons and Lovers” (1913)
  • “The Rainbow” (1915)
  • “Women in Love” (1920)
  • “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (1928)

Modernism in Poetry

  • Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)
  • “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”(1917)
  • “The Waste Land”(1922)
  • “Ash Wednesday” (1930)
  • “Four Quartets” (1944)

Critical Realism Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

  • “In a German Pension” (1911)
  • “Rhythm”
  • “The Blue Review”
  • “A Birthday”
  • “Something Childish, but Very Natural”
  • “Indiscreet Journey”
  • “Bliss and Other Stories” (1920)

William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

  • Novels:
  • “Liza of Lambeth” (1897)
  • “Of Human Bondage” (1915)
  • “The Moon and Sixpence” (1919)
  • “The Painted Veil” (1925)
  • “Cakes and Ale” (1930)
  • “The Theatre”(19)
  •  

Graham Greene(1904-1991)

  • The “serious novels”:
  • “The Man Within” (1929)
  • “England Made Me” (1935)
  • “The Power and the Glory” (1940)
  • “The Queen American” (1955)
  • “A Burnt-Out Case” (1961)
  • The “entertaining novels”:
  • “Stamboul Train” (1932)
  • “A Gun For Sale” (1936)
  • “The Confidential Agent” (1939)
  • “Loser Takes All” (1955)

LITERATURE FROM THE 1940s TO THE 1970s  

John Osborne (1929-1994)

  • Plays:
  • “Look Back in Anger” (1956)
  • “The Entertainer”
  • (1957)
  • “The World of Paul Slickey”
  • (1959)
  • “Inadmissible Evidence” (1964)
  • “A Sense of Detachment” (1973)
  •  

LITERATURE OF THE LAST DECADES OF THE 20th CENTURY Postmodernism

  • The new time brings new heroes, new experience in drama and poetry, new forms and standards in prosaic works. Specific features of nowadays literature are in the variety of genres and styles:
  • the historical novel
  • science fiction
  • spy fiction
  • mystery novel
  • novel as a piece of news.


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