study guide for English Lit by awaisjameel555


									Study Guide for English Lit

Unit One Poetry

Death Be Not Proud-John Donne

On His Blindness-John Milton

Flower in the Crannied Wall-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Apostrophe to the Ocean-George Gordon, Lord Byron

The World is Too Much with Us
My Heart Leaps Up-William Wordsworth

To Be, or Not to Be-William Shakespeare

Sonnet 43-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I want a Principle Within-Charles Wesley
        The small island of England has been invaded and settled many times: by the Iberians, the
Celts (Britons), the Romans, by the Angles and Saxons, and by the Normans. It was during the
Roman occupation that Christianity came to the British Isles. The Germanic Anglo-Saxons came to
Britain shortly after Rome abandoned it in the 5th Century.
        One important development of the Anglo Saxon period was the introduction of Roman
Catholicism to England. Pope Gregory the Great appointed the missionary Augustine to convert the
pagan Anglo Saxons in 587. By AD 600, all of England had officially adopted the Roman Religion.
Except for 2 brief interludes during which the Vikings (Danes) ruled England, the Germanic Anglo
Saxons remained in power until the French Normans conquered Britain in 1066. The best known
king of the period was Alfred the Great. Alfred promoted learning and had several books translated
into their language. He also initiated a running account of current events in England, “The Anglo
Saxon Chronicle,” written for hundreds of years. He was the founder of English prose.

Anglo Saxon Poetry:
Anglo Saxon literature was poetry, not prose, and was not written, but recited or sung. Caedmon was
the first Anglo Saxon Poet.

1. Each line of verse had four principal beats or accented syllables
2. Usually two or three of the accented syllables are alliterated.
3. The lines were unrhymed

1. Love of freedom
2. Responsiveness to nature, esp in her sterner moods
3. Strong religious convictions and a belief in wyrd or fate
4. Reverence for womanhood
5. Devotion to glory as the ruling motive in every warrior’s life

SCOP-Anglo Saxon poet
GLEEMAN-recited poems
CAESURA- a pause
ACCENT-stressing syllables or words
ALLITERATION-beginning words with the same consonant sound
KENNINGS-strong metaphorical expressions
PARALLELISMS-repetition of ideas in slightly differing forms

Greatest of the Anglo Saxon poems and the oldest surviving epic of an Germanic people is Beowulf.
Beowulf is a folk tale or a traditional epic and has no one author.

1. About a great national hero
2. Written in lofty language
3. Containing supernatural elements
4. Exploring the struggle of good and evil

The Venerable Bede (673-735) was the founder of English history and the greatest writer of his time.
He knew Latin, Greek and Hebrew and wrote over forty textbooks. His most important work was his
“Ecclesiastical History of the English People”, from which we get most of our facts about early
English History.
THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD (1066-1485) “The age of Chivalry”
chivalry-the code of conduct set for the nobility and the knights
William, Duke of Normandy claimed the English throne and with an army of Norman knights
conquered the A-S at the Battle of Hastings. The most significant result of the Norman Conquest was
its effect on the English language. The French language of the Normans combined with the
Germanic language of the Anglo Saxons to form middle English. William introduced feudalism to
England and the AS became serfs (peasant farmers) bound to work the land for the Normans.
William ordered a census recorded in the “Domesday Book” and took control of the Roman church
         Literature was written in either Latin (language of the Roman church) or French (language of
the Normans) for nearly 100 years.

1. The rhymed English lyric (Ballads)
2. The Drama (prose or poetry)

two earliest forms of English dramas: Miracle and mystery plays. The Morality play came on at the
end of the 14th century

Four GREAT AUTHORS that emerged during this period

1. Pearl Poet (name given to unknown author)-wrote “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”
2. Geoffry Chaucer “The Canterbury Tales”
3. Sir Thomas Malory-“Morte Darthur” (about King Arthur)
4. John Wycliffe-translated Bible from Latin to English; called “the father of English Prose” The
greatest Prose writer of 14th century England

Two examples of a medieval romance
“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and -“Morte Darthur”

William Caxton–owned 1st printing press in England

Exemplum: a short tale or anecdote told to teach a lesson example “The Pardoner’s Tale” (which is
found in the Canterbury Tales

Ballad: poetry associated with common people
The popular Ballad: short narrative folk song which tells of a single, usually tragic, event in an
objective unbiased manner. “Get up and Bar the Door”
Ballad Stanza: rhyme scheme is abcb

The carol, a joyous song or hymn, is a popular art form which originated in France. Example “The
Cherry Tree Carol”
Medieval Romance: a form of writing based primarily on the adventures of various knights and often
containing supernatural elements. Examples: “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and -“Morte

Mystery plays: plays on biblical subjects
Miracle plays: plays dealing with legends of saints
Morality plays: in these are represented allegorically the battle which the vices and virtues wage for
the possession of the human soul. Characters like charity, hope, faith, truth, covetousness, falsehood,
abominable living, the world, the flesh and the devil came on the stage as people and The best of
these is the play “Everyman.”

Pageant wagon-movable platform that plays were produced on

Guilds-incorporated associations of various trades and crafts in the towns

a reverdie: a lyric celebrating the return of spring. Example “Cuccu Song”

Allegory: abstract ideas are personalized to teach a moral lesson
UNIT FOUR The Elizabethan period (1485-1625) “the Tudor period” or “Renaissance period” or
“Reformation period”

Henry Tudor VII won the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 ending the Wars of the Roses and began
the long reign of the Tudor monarchs.

During this age:
a. England severed its ties to the Roman church
b. embraced the Protestant reformation
c. developed a strong constitutional monarchy
e. made progress in art, literature, science and trade.

REFORMATION: refers to protestant reformation when Henry VIII severed ties with Church of
Rome and established Protestantism in England and had bible translated into English

RENAISSANCE: England revived its interest in Greek and Roman Literature

Genres born in this period
1. Sonnet, (a 14 line poem written in Iambic Pantameter)
2. essay: a work of moderate length in which the writer tries to develop his own thoughts on some
3. literary criticism
4. Romantic allegory: is extended fiction which uses dramatic characters and events to represent
        nonliteral meanings.

the first essays in English literature were by Francis Bacon, example “Essays: Of Studies”

Sonnets were introduced to England by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
2 types were 1. English (Shakespearean) and 2. Italian

“An apology for Poetry” written by Sir Philip Sidney was the first piece of English literary criticism

3 genres greatly improved in this period: the lyric, allegory and dramas

3 types of lyrics
song, the pastoral and the sonnet

great authors of the period
1. Sir Thomas More “Utopia” this book describes an ideal society
2. Edmund Spenser, “the Faerie Queene” Great Allegorical Epic Romance
3. Christopher Marlowe “Doctor Faustus”, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”
4. Ben Jonson “Song to Celia” and “A Hymn to God the Father”
He was a playwright, mainly comedy, and lyrical poet

Drama reached its peak during this time; 2 types of drama tragedy and comedy

Greatest playwright of all time, greatest sonnet writer, greatest writer William Shakespeare
Playhouse was called a “Globe”

Madrigal: a popular love song consisting of 5 or 6 voice parts sung independently without
accompaniment and woven into an intricate pattern
pastoral-classic love song dealing with shepherds and rustic life
soliloquy: a speech by one character alone on the stage
aside; a dramatic effect in which a character directly addresses the audience or another character
exposition: introduces the characters and conflict and provides background.

most important work produced in this period “The King James Bible” 1611
Bible translator responsible for “the Great Bible”: Miles Coverdale finished William Tyndales’ work
and it was dedicated to King Henry VIII
the Bible of Shakespeare, Cromwell, Milton, Bunyan and the American Pilgrims: Geneva Bible
Unit 5
The age of the Puritans1625-1660
the Puritans gained tremendous political social and ecclesiastical power in England. They wanted to
purify the Church of England of its Roman influence and opposed the King. Many Puritans fled to
the new World to worship freely, but many stayed to oppose the king with the help of Parliament.

Three major groups that wrote
1. the puritans like John Milton and John Bunyan
2. the Cavalier poets–emphasized pleasure and wrote love songs like Richard Lovelace, Sir John
Sucking, Robert Herrick, George Wither and Edmund Waller. (Herrick was greatest)
Edmund Waller was famous for use of the couplet
3. the Metaphysical poets–like John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan (Vaughn was Welsh
poet and Dr) and Thomas Traherne “John Donne was the first and greatest”
metaphysical poets fused passionate feeling and logical argument using rich imagery and conceits to
express spiritual truths.

Paradise Lost by John Milton is England’s Greatest Epic
the Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan is England’s greatest Allegory

Drama declined after Shakespeare and Johnson and there was a rise in prose works

John Milton is most outstanding poet of the 17th century and 2nd greatest writer in English Lit

couplet: a complete thought expressed in 2 rhyming lines
conceit: points out an unusual parallel between highly dissimilar elements like comparing spiritual
qualities to physical objects
UNIT SIX The Restoration and the 18th Century (1660-1800)–
the restoration of the Stuart monarchy to the throne with the return of Charles II from France in 660;
the literary period of the latter part of the 17th century of which the leading figure was Dryden.
Much of the literature is a reaction against puritanism.

French Lit influenced the restoration writers
Ruling Poet of this period “John Dryden”
Only poet during the first part of the 18th Century “Alexander Pope”

2 greatest forms of this period
1. Novel
2. Journalism

Three great Journalists
Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, and Samuel Johnson

3 early English novelists of the 18th century: Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding

The first English novel to gain world recognition was “Robinson Crusoe”

Jonathon Swift’s greatest Satire: was “Gulliver’s Travels”

Samuel Johnson compiled an English Dictionary

Matthew Henry wrote a commentary on the Bible that is still used today

Drama reached its lowest level during this period

Isaac Watts is known as the father of English Hymnody

Scotland’s greatest poet is Robert Burns

deism: a belief that an impersonal God created the world and left it to run by natural laws and left
man to take care of himself by using his own intellect

ode: one of the most formal and complex types of lyrical poetry with a fixed purpose

onomatopoeia: using words which sound like what they mean

novel: extended prose fiction

epigram: any brief poem or concise saying often witty or satiric

neoclassicism: a European movement with an interest in classical works; proper patterns of outward
social conduct formality restraint polish and elegance; was also called the Augustan age

elegy: a melancholy poem which reflects on nature and death

apostrophe: addressed to an inanimate object as if it were alive or to an absent one as if he were there
biography: introduces the facts of another person’s life

irony: the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning with a a humorous effect
satire: ridicule of human folly or vice with the purpose of correcting it.

theme: central idea
direct exposition: telling the reader directly what the character is like
indirect revelation: allowing the reader to draw his own conclusions from what the character
himself does or thinks , or what other characters think about him

static character: remains the same throughout the story
dynamic character: undergoes change and is different at the end of the story
protagonist: the hero in conflict with the antagonist
unit Seven-The Romantic Age (1798-1832) Jane Austin “pride and prejudice”
Turned away from Classicism toward nature, country people and simplicity of expression

William Wordsworth initiated the Romantic movement with the publication of Lyrical Ballads in

Jean Jacques Rousseau is the French Romantic writer who influenced the views of many of the

poets of this period: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe
Shelley and John Keats

the three lake poets are William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey

Coleridge’s masterpiece is “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, it is the greatest of all English literary
Southey is the romantic poet who wrote the story “The three bears”
William Wordsworth is the greatest English poet since Milton. He is known as the supreme poet of

“Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” by William Wordsworth is one of the most important pieces of English
literary criticism.

John Keats coined the phrase “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”; John Keats is the only major
romantic poet of humble birth

Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a poet associated with the idea of willing suspension of disbelief

The greatest English Lyricist is Percy Byysshe Shelley

the “familiar essay” was developed during this age

3 types of novels of the age
Gothic (original mystery/horror story set in middle ages), historical (show the spirit of a past age),
and novel of manners (deals with social customs)

The perfecter of the novel of manners was Jane Austen, who was known for her quaint original
stories about the everyday lives of the English middle class
Her novel, Pride and Prejudice, is the first novel to deal with the entire family

Sir Walter Scott created the historical novel

Horace Walpole initiated the Gothic novel

pantheism-the false idea tha thte spirit of God dwells in nature and that to commune with nature is to
commune with God

Elegiac poem: poems characterized by sober meditations of death

art ballad: an imitation by a modern poet of the early popular ballads

Byronic Hero: rebellious , brooding and proud hero–created by Byron

Rondeau: an elaborate French verse form (aabbaaabcaabbac)

metonymy: the substitution of a word or phrase for another term closely related to it.
unit Eight the Victorian Era (1832-1901) Charles Dickens like David Copperfield

the great age of prose

the literary period which began with the death of Sir Walter Scott in 1832 and ended in 1901 with the
death of Queen Victoria.

The most popular and successful type of Victorian prose was the novel

the three great Victorian poets are : Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold

Tennyson was the most popular

the most famous literary romance of all times: Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett

Robert Browning developed the dramatic monologue

The first popular Victorian novelist is Charles Dickens

the great novelists were : Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy

Dramatic Monologue: a lyric poem which reveals a soul in action through the conversation of one
character in a dramatic situation

Idyll-a brief picture sketch or scene

poet laureate-an official court or state poet

novel of purpose: works out some problem through its characters; usually a social, political,
economic or moral issue

Oxford movement: seeking a return to practices of Roman Catholic Church
unit Nine The 20th century

“CS Lewis” Christian writer of modern fiction

the first great writer of Science fiction–H. G. Wells
Bernard Shaw believing that socialism was the answer to the world’s problems, used his comedies to
attack and criticize the virtues of all societies.

the three leading British poets of the 20th century William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden

“Animal Farm” and “1984"-George Orwell
“Of Human bondage” Somerset Maugham
Ulysses” James Joyce
“Pygmalion” Bernard Shaw made into a movie “My Fair Lady”
“Lord of the Flies” William Golding

surrealism-an attempt to portray or interpret the works of the unconscious mind as manifested in

imagism: the use of precise, concrete images, free verse, and suggestion rather than complex

To top