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 • 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 language. Chaucer 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 poets • • • • • • • John Gower John Audelay Thomas Hoccleve William Langland John Lydgate Thomas Usk William of Nassyngton Middle English writers • 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.