Anglo Saxon and middle English literature

Anglo Saxon and middle
English literature
Characterisations of Middle English literature
` In the 12th century, a new form of English now known as Middle English
evolved. This is the earliest form of English literature which is comprehensible
to modern readers and listeners, albeit not easily. Middle English lasts up
until the 1470s, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based
English, became widespread and the printing press regularized the language.
Middle English Bible translations, notably Wyclif's Bible, helped to
establish English as a literary language.
There are three main categories of Middle English Literature:
Religious, Courtly love, and Arthurian. William
Langland's Piers Plowman is considered by many critics to be one of the early
great works of English literature along with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (most likely by the Pearl Poet) during
the Middle Ages. It is also the first allusion to a literary tradition of the
legendary English archer, swordsman, and outlaw Robin Hood.
Middle English
Chaucer’s epic poems
Canterbury Tales
Troilus and Criseyde
Book of the Duchess
Chaucer reciting Troylus and Criseyde: early
15th century manuscript of the work at Corpus
Christi College, Cambridge
• Chaucer was an English author,
poet, philosopher, bureaucrat,
courtier and diplomat. Although
he wrote many works, he is best
remembered for his unfinished
frame narrative The Canterbury
Tales. Sometimes called the father
of English literature, Chaucer is
credited by some scholars as the
first author to demonstrate the
artistic legitimacy of the English
Writer, official and bureaucrat, the outstanding
English poet before Geoffrey Chaucer is
remembered as the author of Canterbury Tales,
which ranks as one of the greatest epic works of world
literature. Chaucer made a crucial contribution to
English literature in writing in English at a time
when much court poetry was still composed in
Anglo-Norman or Latin. Although he spent one of
two brief periods of disfavor, Chaucer lived the
whole of his life close the centers of English power. ‘
My lige lady, generally,' quod
he,'Wommen desiren to have
sovereynetee As wel over hir
housbond as hir love.'
(from Canterbury Tales)
Middle English
John Gower
John Audelay
Thomas Hoccleve
William Langland
John Lydgate
Thomas Usk
William of Nassyngton
Middle English
• William Langland
• Sir Thomas Mallory
• Robert Gloucester
• Miles Coverdale
Sir Thomas Malory
Was an anonymous and wrote the
greatest medieval romances.
The author or compiler of Le Morte
d'Arthur, which was the first true
english novel.
This monumental work is a moving tale
of love and betrayal, and quests
inspired by noble ideals amidst
the turmoil of an age on the threshold of
profound change, the essence of Sir
Thomas Malory's timeless masterpiece
has remained firmly in the imagination
of successive generations.
The Roman de la rose
• The Roman de la rose, is a medieval French poem styled as
an allegorical dream vision. It is a notable instance of
courtly literature. The work's stated purpose is to both
entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. It had
a great influence on English literature. It helped
Chaucers work strongly.
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