A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE

English literature is a very old and waste literature. A brief history of English literature is given below…..

History of English literature is divided into following period
1}Old or Anglo Saxon literature
2}Middle English literature
3}Elizabethan literature
4}The age of Milton
5}Restoration drama
6}Neoclassicism
7}Romanticism
8}The Victorian period
9}The twentieth century (modern)
10}Post modernism (present)


They are further discussed as below ….

1. Old English literature:

Old English literature was written from about 600-1100, The greatest old English poem called ‘Beowulf ‘ whose author is unknown.

The old English authors, are known by name are Cadmon,the author of a short hymn,and Cynewulf’ the author of four long poems

2.Middle English literature:(1100-1500)
It started in 1100
Poetry: the most important poet of the time is Geoffrey Chaucer, his greatest work is Canterbury tales.

Drama: The three main types of medieval drama are mystery plays,about Bible stories,miracle plays about the lives of saints and the miracles the performed and morality plays,in which character s personify moral qualities such as charity or vice.

3.Elizabethan literature:

Written approximately during the time of queen Elizabeth (1558-1603). Thats why it is called Elizabethan literature.

Poetry:

Edmund Spencer the author of The Faerie Queen’s, Walter Raleigh,and William Shakespeare.

Drama:

Drama is the greatest form written during the Elizabethan age.Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright of all times ,his best works include Hamlet, king Lear,Macbeth Othello and merchant of vinice, Marlow six plays. Ben Johnson alchemist John donne 1572 -1631 metaphysical school of poetry

4. The age of Milton

Milton’s paradise lost,
Robert Herrick famous for beautiful lyrics.

5.Restoration Drama

The main form of drama of this period are the heroic plays as written by john Dryden,and the comedy of manners as written by Richard sheriden and William Congreve.
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6.Neoclasseicsm:

The main characteristics of neoclassicism are;

1) Poetry should be guided by reason
2) The role of the poet is that of the teacher
3) Poetry should be written according to fixed rules.
4) Poetry should use special diction
The major representative of this school
Are john Dryden and Alexander pope.

7. Romanticism

The main characteristics of Romanticism are

1) Poetry is the expression of personal feelings and emotions.
2) Imagination is a main source of poetry
3) Nature in romantic poetry is a living thing,a teacher of man,and a healing power Wordsworth’ Keats, Byron, Shelley and Coleridge

8. The Victorian period.

This period includes second half of the nineteenth century.
Poetry. Alfred tennyson and Robert Browning are the major poets of this period.
(Novel) the novel was the main literary production of the Victorian age
Charles Dickens, Jane Austen,Emily Bronte,George Eliot,Thomas hardy.
(Drama)
Oscar wild’ s importance of being Earnest.

9.(20th century)
(Also known as moderen period)
As a result of the political changes and the world wars,the sense of confidence in Victorian literature is replaced by the loss of faith,suffering, and uncertainty that modern literature expresses.stylistic experimentation and revolution against all literary tradition are the mark of modern literature. Some major figures include w.b Yeats, T.S. Eliot and W.H Auden in poetry,
Virginia wolf and James Joyce in the novel, and Samuel Becket in drama.

10.(Post Modernism (C.1945-present)
( The present literature English literature)
A notoriously ambiguous term,specially as it refers to literature, post modernism can b seen as response to the elitism of high modernism as well as to the horrors of world war ll .post modern literature is characterized by a disjointed,fragmented pasticcio of high and low culture that reflects the absence of tradition and structure in a world driven by technology and consumerism,
Julian Barnes,don’t delillo,tony Morrison,Vladimir nobokov,Thomas Pynchon and Kurt Vonnegut are modern writers of this era …….

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