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Introduction to English Literature

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									English Literature
   * An Introduction *

            Presentation for English
               by Dr. Erjon Grori
• How much do you know about “English”?


       • What is literature?
English Literature is the literature written in English
language. English Literature is not only the literature of a
particular country but it also it is the literature of the
world. No other literature is as popular as it because it is
read and written in whole world. We can’t say it only the
literature of England for instance – Robert Burns was
Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was
Polish, Edgar Allen was American and Vladimir Nabokov
was a Russian writer, but all have major place in the
history of English literature.
               Literature Definition and Meaning

 If we go with the terminology of the word ‘Literature’,
  Literature has been taken from the latin word – Literae. The
  word Literae is the plural of letter. So literature is the art of
  written work in the form of prose, poetry, fiction or non-fiction.
  Literature may be divided by language and periods or era.

But we can understand it in the following words –
 Literature is the knowledge and experience of human life
   written in the form of prose, poetry, fiction or non-fiction which
   can full fill anyone’s life with knowledge joy and happiness.”

 “Literature is the composition of those golden words which may
  brighten our life as gold if we adopt them.”
             Importance of Literature
Literature preserves the ideals of a people; and ideals--love,
faith, duty, friendship, freedom, reverence--are the part of
human life most worthy of preservation.
       Why Study Literature

• 1. Literature has aesthetic and cognitive
                     value.
• 2. Literature has much influence on the
               English language.
  • 3. Literature can breed the students’
       sensitivity to the use of English.
English Literature
    English literature has been divided
    by the periods and time to time it
    got growth and development.

    So take a glimpse of periods of
    English literature.


            Growth                ‫نمو / تطور‬
            Glimpse               ‫لمحة /نظرة‬
            Literature                    ‫أدب‬
But we will get to look into all these
 Periods in History of the English
            Language
   Through Three main Periods
           as follow.
Periods in History of the English
           Language

*Beowulf

*The Canterbury Tales by G.Chaucer

*Shakespeare
The first time literature was written in old English so we use the term
of old English literature when we start talking about it. I`m going to
gather the old period in what I call best points.

 Epic poem was the most popular achievement of this age.
 Old English Literature is also called Anglo Saxon Literature.
 The period of old English literature started form 7th century to
  1066.
 The major works are: Epic poetry, Hagiography, Sermons, and Bible
  translations.

 Beowulf – the epic poem is the important work of old English and it
  has gained national epic award in England.
 Most famous poets of the age were Caedmon, Bede, Alfred the
  Great and Cynewulf.

 Caedmon was the most famous poet and called father of old poetry
  in 7th century. There is only one poem of nine lines available
  named Hymn
Now let us praise the Guardian of the Kingdom of Heaven

 The might of the Creator and the thought of his mind,

The work of the glorious Father, how He, the eternal Lord

       Established the beginning of every wonder.

       For the sons of men, He, the Holy Creator

          First made heaven as a roof, then the

          Keeper of mankind, the eternal Lord

    God Almighty afterwards made the middle world

                  The earth, for men.

                                             -Hymn (Caedmon)
From Old English language
                     to

      Things took a different turn in 1066 when the
      Normans came and conquered England. Now
      English was being spoken alongside the French
      language of the Normans called Anglo-Norman.
      Merchants and lower-ranked nobles became
      bilingual, but English was still the common
      language of the people.
It was during this time that French had a huge
influence on the English language that can still
be seen today. Celtic dialects also continued to
influence, as well as Old Norman. The increased
integration of Norman languages into English
significantly changed its linguistic structure; thus
Old English transformed into Middle English. As
Anglo-Norman declined, English remained
popular. Chaucer is the most famous Middle
English author, penning such works as the
aforementioned The Canterbury Tales
     The Canterbury Tales

  Whan that Aprille with his shoures swote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote

When April with his sweet showers has struck
   to the roots the dryness of March…
            ‘The Canterbury Tales’
• Chaucer’s most famous work is ‘The Canterbury Tales’
  (about 1387), a long poem, or a collection of stories in
  verse. And it is real verse – another novelty. The rhyme
  has taken place of Old English alliteration.

• The story is about a party of pilgrims, the poet among
  them, traveling to Canterbury to visit the grave of
  Thomas a Becket. To pass the time, they agree to tell
  tales. In those tales we get to know the characters
  themselves. They come from every class of the society
  of the time, from the nobility, members of the church,
  merchants and craftsmen, to peasants.
1. Early Modern English (1500-1800)

2. Late Modern English (1800-Present)
The change from Middle English to Early Modern English was not just a matter of
vocabulary or pronunciation changing: it was the beginning of a new era in the
history of English. An era of linguistic change in a language with large variations in
dialect was replaced by a new era of a more standardized language with a richer
lexicon and an established (and lasting) literature.

Early Modern English is the stage of the English language used from the beginning
of the Tudor period until the English Interregnum and Restoration, or from the
transition from Middle English in the late 15th century to the transition to Modern
English during the mid to late 17th century.
Prior to and following the accession of James I to the English throne in 1603 the
emerging English standard began to influence the spoken and written Middle Scots
of Scotland.
Modern readers of English are generally able to understand texts written in the late
phase of the Early Modern English period (e.g. the first edition of the King James
Bible and the works of William Shakespeare), while texts from the earlier phase
(such as Le Morte d'Arthur) may present more difficulties. The Early Modern
English of the early 17th century forms the base of the grammatical and
orthographical conventions that survive in Modern English.
Portrait of Francis Bacon,   Born: November 6, 1558,
by Frans Pourbus (1617),     London
Palace on the Water in       Died: August 15, 1594, London
Warsaw.                      Education: Merchant Taylors'    William Shakespeare, chief
Born: 22 January 1561        School, Northwood               figure of the English
Strand, London, England      Books and plays: The Spanish    Renaissance, as portrayed in
Died: 9 April 1626 (aged     Tragedy, works of Thomas Kyd    the Chandos portrait (artist
65)Highgate, London,                                         and authenticity not
England                                                      confirmed).
England had a strong tradition of literature in the English vernacular, which
gradually increased as English use of the printing press became common by the
mid 16th century. By the time of Elizabethan literature a vigorous literary culture
in both drama and poetry included poets such as Edmund Spenser, whose verse
epic The Faerie Queene , the lyrics of William Shakespeare, Thomas Wyatt and
others, typically circulating in manuscript form for some time before they were
published, and above all the plays of English Renaissance theatre, were the
outstanding legacy of the period.
The English theatre scene, which performed both for the court and nobility in
private performances, and a very wide public in the theatres, was the most
crowded in Europe, with a host of other playwrights as well as the giant figures of
Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.
Philosophers and intellectuals included Thomas More and Francis Bacon. All the
16th century Tudor monarchs were highly educated, as was much of the nobility,
and Italian literature had a considerable following, providing the sources for many
of Shakespeare's plays. English thought advanced towards modern science with
the Baconian Method, a forerunner of the Scientific Method. The language of the
Book of Common Prayer, first published in 1549, and at the end of the period the
Authorised Version ("King James Version" to Americans) of the Bible (1611) had
enduring impacts on the English consciousness.
                    In Short words :
Early Modern English (1500-1800)

 Towards the end of Middle English, a sudden and distinct
   change in pronunciation
 The Renaissance of Classical learning, meant that many new
  words and phrases entered the language.

 The invention of printing also meant that there was now a
  common language in print. Books became cheaper and more
  people learned to read.
 Printing also brought standardization to English.

 Spelling and grammar became fixed, and the dialect of London,
  where most publishing houses were, became the standard.
 In 1604 the first English dictionary was published
Late Modern English (1800-Present)

The main difference between Early Modern English and Late
 Modern English is vocabulary.
Late Modern English has many more words, arising from two
 principal factors:

Firstly, the Industrial Revolution and technology created a
 need for new words;
Secondly, the British Empire at its height covered one quarter
 of the earth's surface, and the English language adopted
 foreign words from many countries.

Modern English: It starts as soon as we can understand a poem
or prose without the help of a grammar book or dictionary.
Shakespeare is probably the most famous of all Englishmen.
One of the things he is famous for is the effect he had on the
development of the Early Modern English language. For
example, without even realising it, our everyday speech is full of
words and phrases invented by Shakespeare. He was able to do
that because English was changing as people modernised it in
their normal workaday speech.
One of the ways the grammar was changing was that inflectional
endings (suffixes that indicated the word’s grammatical
functions in the way that many modern languages still have) had
largely disappeared. Modern English was becoming wonderfully
flexible and that was the background to the Renaissance
explosion of the inventive language we see when we look at the
poetry of the time. Shakespeare was a leading figure in that.
                                   References
1. Basic language Message and Meanings IV ISBN 06-5301009-9
2. Anglo Saxon Beowulf PPT for Careers
3. Río-Rey, Carmen (2002-10-09). "Subject control and coreference in Early Modern English
    free adjuncts and absolutes". English Language and Linguistics (Cambridge University
    Press) 6 (2): 309–323. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
4. Stephen L. White, "The Book of Common Prayer and the Standardization of the English
    Language" The Anglican, 32:2(4-11), April, 2003
5. Ignorance, Faust o, Shakespeare's Works and Elizabethan Pronunciation, Oxford,
    Clarendon Press, 1981.
6. Burroughs, Jeremiah; Greenhill, William (1660). The Saints Happinesse. Introduction uses
    both happineſs and bleſſedneſs.
7. Sacks, David (2004). The Alphabet. London: Arrow. p. 316. ISBN 0-09-943682-5.
8. Sacks, David (2003). Language Visible. Canada: Knopf. pp. 356–57. ISBN 0-676-97487-2
9. W.W. Skeat, in Principles of English Etymology, claims that the o-for-u substitution was
    encouraged by the ambiguity between u and n; if sunne could just as easily be misread as
    sunue or suvne, it made sense to write it as sonne. (Skeat, Principles of English
    Etymology, Second Series. Clarendon Press, 1891. Page 99.)
10. Airs, Malcolm, The Buildings of Britain, A Guide and Gazetteer, Tudor and Jacobean,
    especially chapters 1, 3 and 8, 1982, Barrie & Jenkins (London), ISBN 0-09-147831-6
11. Lass, Roger, ed. (1999). The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume III.
    Cambridge: Cambridge. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-521-26476-1
^ Lass, Roger, ed. (1999). The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume III.
Cambridge: Cambridge. pp. 165–66. ISBN 978-0-521-26476-1.
^ Charles Laurence Barber (1997). Early Modern English. Edinburgh University Press. p. 171.
ISBN 978-0-7486-0835-5.
^ Charles Laurence Barber (1997). Early Modern English. Edinburgh University Press. p. 165.
ISBN 978-0-7486-0835-5.
^ Charles Laurence Barber (1997). Early Modern English. Edinburgh University Press. p. 172.
ISBN 978-0-7486-0835-5.
^ Lass, Roger, ed. (1999). The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume III.
Cambridge: Cambridge. pp. 231–35. ISBN 978-0-521-26476-1.
^ Lass, Roger, ed. (1999). The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume III.
Cambridge: Cambridge. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-521-26476-1.
^ Lass, Roger, ed. (1999). The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume III.
Cambridge: Cambridge. pp. 217–18. ISBN 978-0-521-26476-1.
http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/shakespeare-early-modern-english/

								
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