English literature of his reign as James I, from tois properly called Jacobean.
Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. The later Middle English and early Renaissance periods One of the most important factors in the nature and development of English literature between about and was the peculiar linguistic situation in England at the beginning of the period.
Among the small minority of the population that could be regarded as literate, bilingualism and even trilingualism were common. Insofar as it was considered a serious literary medium at all, English was obliged to compete on uneven terms with Latin and with the Anglo-Norman dialect of French widely used in England at the time.
Moreover, extreme dialectal diversity within English itself made it difficult for vernacular writings, irrespective of their literary pretensions, to circulate very far outside their immediate areas of compositiona disadvantage not suffered by writings in Anglo-Norman and Latin.
All the more remarkable, Renaissance and english poetry, was the literary and linguistic revolution that took place in England between about and and that was slowly and soberly consolidated over the subsequent years. Later Middle English poetry The revival of alliterative poetry The most puzzling episode in the development of later Middle English literature is the apparently sudden reappearance of unrhymed alliterative poetry in the midth century.
The earliest examples of the phenomenon, William of Palerne and Winner and Waster, are both datable to the s, but neither poem exhibits to the full all the characteristics of the slightly later poems central to the movement. Indeed, Winner and Waster, with its sense of social commitment and occasional apocalyptic gesture, may well have served as a source of inspiration for Langland himself.
The term alliterative revival should not be taken to imply a return to the principles of classical Old English versification. The authors of the later 14th-century alliterative poems either inherited or developed their own conventions, which resemble those of the Old English tradition in only the Renaissance and english poetry general way.
The syntax and particularly the diction of later Middle English alliterative verse were also distinctive, and the search for alliterating phrases and constructions led to the extensive use of archaictechnical, and dialectal words.
Hunts, feasts, battles, storms, and landscapes were described with a brilliant concretion of detail rarely paralleled since, while the abler poets also contrived subtle modulations of the staple verse-paragraph to accommodate dialoguediscourse, and argument.
Among the poems central to the movement were three pieces dealing with the life and legends of Alexander the Greatthe massive Destruction of Troy, and the Siege of Jerusalem. A gathering sense of inevitable transitoriness gradually tempers the virile realization of heroic idealism, and it is not surprising to find that the poem was later used by Sir Thomas Malory as a source for his prose account of the Arthurian legendLe Morte Darthur completed c.
The alliterative movement would today be regarded as a curious but inconsiderable episode were it not for four other poems now generally attributed to a single anonymous author: The poet of Sir Gawayne far exceeded the other alliterative writers in his mastery of form and style, and, though he wrote ultimately as a moralist, human warmth and sympathy often taking comic form are also close to the heart of his work.
Purity imaginatively re-creates several monitory narratives of human impurity and its consequences in a spectacular display of poetic skill: No paraphrase can hope to recapture the imaginative resources displayed in the telling of the story and the structuring of the poem as a work of art.
Pearl stands somewhat aside from the alliterative movement proper. In common with a number of other poems of the period, it was composed in stanzaic form, with alliteration used for ornamental effect.
The jeweler-poet is vouchsafed a heavenly vision in which he sees his pearl, the discreet symbol used in the poem for a lost infant daughter who has died to become a bride of Christ.
She offers theological consolation for his grief, expounding the way of salvation and the place of human life in a transcendental and extra-temporal view of things.
The alliterative movement was primarily confined to poets writing in northern and northwestern England, who showed little regard for courtly, London-based literary developments. It is likely that alliterative poetry, under aristocratic patronage, filled a gap in the literary life of the provinces caused by the decline of Anglo-Norman in the latter half of the 14th century.
Alliterative poetry was not unknown in London and the southeast, but it penetrated those areas in a modified form and in poems that dealt with different subject matter. If what he tells about himself in the poem is true and there is no other source of informationhe later lived obscurely in London as an unbeneficed cleric.
Langland wrote in the unrhymed alliterative mode, but he modified it in such a way as to make it more accessible to a wider audience by treating the metre more loosely and avoiding the arcane diction of the provincial poets. His poem exists in at least three and possibly four versions: The poem takes the form of a series of dream visions dealing with the social and spiritual predicament of late 14th-century England against a sombre apocalyptic backdrop.
Passages of involuted theological reasoning mingle with scatological satire, and moments of sublime religious feeling appear alongside forthright political comment.
This makes it a work of the utmost difficulty, defiant of categorization, but at the same time Langland never fails to convince the reader of the passionate integrity of his writing. His bitter attacks on political and ecclesiastical corruption especially among the friars quickly struck chords with his contemporaries.
Among minor poems in the same vein are Mum and the Sothsegger c. In the 16th century, Piers Plowman was issued as a printed book and was used for apologetic purposes by the early Protestants.
Courtly poetry Apart from a few late and minor reappearances in Scotland and the northwest of England, the alliterative movement was over before the first quarter of the 15th century had passed.
The other major strand in the development of English poetry from roughly proved much more durable. The cultivation and refinement of human sentiment with respect to love, already present in earlier 14th-century writings such as the Harley Lyrics, took firm root in English court culture during the reign of Richard II — English began to displace Anglo-Norman as the language spoken at court and in aristocratic circles, and signs of royal and noble patronage for English vernacular writers became evident.
Chaucer and Gower Geoffrey Chaucera Londoner of bourgeois origins, was at various times a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant. His poetry frequently but not always unironically reflects the views and values associated with the term courtly.
It is in some ways not easy to account for his decision to write in English, and it is not surprising that his earliest substantial poems, the Book of the Duchess c. Also of French origin was the octosyllabic couplet used in these poems.
His mastery of it was first revealed in stanzaic form, notably the seven-line stanza rhyme royal of the Parliament of Fowls c.
Though Chaucer wrote a number of moral and amatory lyrics, which were imitated by his 15th-century followers, his major achievements were in the field of narrative poetry.This article focuses on poetry written in English from the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (and Ireland before ).
However, though the whole of Ireland was politically part of the United Kingdom between January and December , it can be controversial to describe Irish literature as British, and for . The later Middle English and early Renaissance periods.
One of the most important factors in the nature and development of English literature between about and was the peculiar linguistic situation in England at the beginning of the period.
Among the small minority of the population that could be regarded as literate, bilingualism and even trilingualism were common. English literature - The Renaissance period: – In a tradition of literature remarkable for its exacting and brilliant achievements, the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods have been said to represent the most brilliant century of all.
(The reign of Elizabeth I began in and ended with her death in ; she was succeeded by the Stuart king James VI of Scotland, who took the. 'No Man is an Island' No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.
A comprehensive anthology and guide to English literature of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Seventeenth Century, Restoration and Eighteenth Century. A comprehensive anthology and guide to English literature of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Seventeenth Century, Restoration and Eighteenth Century.