The influence of Norman Conquest on Old English:
The world of Old English Literature underwent a radical upheaval due to the invasion of the new French Language and culture which was an aftermath of the Norman conquest of 1066 which set into motion a very different trend of life and literature in the island of Brittany. The influence of the Norman culture, especially its literary aspect is immense. The debts of the vernacular literature of France penetrated very little into the English soil as the French were no apostles of culture. However, the Norman Conquest forced English into a subservient position from which it only gradually re-emerged as a language simplified in structure and its spelling, vocabulary and literary expression were strongly influenced by the arrival of the French language and culture. It has been very rightly put by Sampson that the asperities of the Northern Ocean and the Baltic were softened by the waters of the Mediterranean. The English had always been a poetic race and the Norman Conquest enhanced this trait by introducing the Romance Vocabulary which seeped into the English language and made it more beautiful and apt for poetry. An exclusive aristocratic taste for the forms, tropes, and subjects of contemporary French Literature shifted the subjects of writing in English away from its old Germanic insularity towards a broader, shared, Western European pattern. The warrior hero hung up his sword, took up a musical instrument and began to sing songs of love. The Trouveres of Northern France influenced War poetry, allegory became a popular sub generic form, and the lyric and the Romance which started being penned brought out the best of the French rhyme and assonance which became the new mode for expression of poetic ideas. In short, the Norman Conquest replaced the sinister and melancholic psycho sphere of English with the clear blue sky of the French counter-part, decked with glamour and vitality of youthful spring. The Norman Conquest...
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