MIDDLE ENGLISH PERIOD (INTRODUCTION) | History of English Literature


The Middle English period is also named the Anglo-Norman period persisted from 1060 to 1500. It started with the conquest of Norman's King William was from France and who affected the literary progressions in this era. The English language got second place in this era due to Latin and French languages which were the languages of the upper classes. And the dearth of literary work especially like the standards of Anglo-Saxon poetry has been observed. French and Latin were the languages of the clergy and Church. Despite the appearance of these languages, words in the English language are written anonymously. Kings of England in the Middle period were William the Conquer 1066-1087 and later on William II, Henry I, Stephen, Henry II, Richard I, Lackland, Henry III, and Edward I to III ruled over England.

Many things occurred in the medieval era there were many incidents and things that happened in respect of literary works and territory and a War with France has been fought in 1338. Black Death occurred due to the plague in England in 1348-1349. In 1350 the English Language replaced the French at the school level. English become the language of Parliament in 1399. In the fifteenth century, another one of the biggest things that came into being was Printing Press by Caxton. He printed the first English book, ' The Recuyall of the History of Troye'. Sir Thomas

More bring England advancements in Literature Genres of the If we talk about the genre of the English Literature of the period under discussion that was; Drama which was performed in the form of Morality, Mystery, and Miracle Plays which consisted of Bible teachings. Similarly, Romantic stories were also included in this era and these are borrowed from the literature of Latin and French has specially written about King Arthur, The War of Troy, and Alexander the


Major Figures and Works of the Medieval Period:

The major figures of the period were;

John Gower 1325-1408, William Langland 1332-1386 including the most important figure was Geoffrey Chaucer 1345-1400 the most prominent work of the Middle English Period was the Canterbury Tales by the Father of English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. It was a work about pilgrimage stories. Later on, the successors of Chaucer came: Thomas Occleve, John Lydgate, John Skelton, Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, and Gwain Douglas was included in this category. Moreover ‘A Vision of Piers the Plowman, is a poem by William Langland. Confessio Amantis, a narrative poem by John Gower.

Le Roman de la Roze a

poem by Chaucer in the time of his French work. Furthermore, he wrote an elegy

'The Book of the Duchess', 'Complaint unto Pity' which was a short poem.

Chaucer's second portion was Italian in which his major works were The Parliament

of Fowls, Troilus, and Criseyde were written at this time.

Chaucer's 3rd period was

the English Period when he wrote Legend of Good Woman, which

he used in this poem heroic couplet. The genres were drama, poetry, and

prose which were the most famous genre of the age. Dante wrote 'Divine Comedy'.

Petrarch wrote sonnets and poems. Boccaccio 'De Cameron' was famous work.



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