AN OUTLINE OF ENGLISH LITERATURE
The period of Anglo Saxon: The Age of Settlement
Before the arrival of Anglo Saxon, Britain was
under Roman Empire (55 BC – AD 440)
± 1150 - ± 1400
- The Duke of Normandy from France became the
king in Britain and gave influences to British
- The use of French – high class of society
The use of English – common people
±1400 - ± 1550
- The period in literature to mark the transition
between two great literary figures, Chaucer and
- The transition to modern English
- a poem
- 3,000 lines
- first English epic
- unknown name of author
-Geoffrey Chaucer wrote „Canterbury Tales‟
-Initially plays were used in churches as the medium to explain the preaching.
- Oral Literature: “Robin Hood”
± 1550 - ± 1620
- the period was marked by the influence of
- Spirit of exploration/science/invention
-Some poets, like Robert Henrison and William Dunbar were
called „Scottish Chaucerians.‟
-Sir Thomas Wyatt wrote sonnet and Earl of Surrey wrote
-Sir Thomas Malory wrote a romance, Morte d’Arthur.
-Two types of drama: moralities (about good or bad), e.g.
Everyman, and interlude (to entertain), e.g. Fulgen and Lucres. - The fastest progress of drama.
- Shakespeare was the key figure.
- He wrote Richard II, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello,
Julius Caesar, Mid Summer Night’s Dreams, etc.
± 1620 - ± 1660
Religious → political movement
Charles I was sentenced to death.
Britain became republic under Oliver Cromwell.
-John Donne, a metaphysical poet
-John Milton wrote „Paradise Lost.‟
-King James Bible > a new version of translation
-Drama was forbidden.
± 1660 - ± 1700
King Charles II returned from France and became
the king of Britain.
± 1700 - ± 1800
-also known as Classical/Pope Period.
-The power of parliament and the PM continued to
-London provided common meetings in the coffee
houses where people talked about politics and other
things. This could be the source of inspiration for
± 1800 - ± 1850
-The American Revolution and French Revolution
influenced the atmosphere of the period.
- Society was changing → from agriculture to
- New Middle Class became powerful.
- Movement towards greater democracy.
- There positive and negative impacts of industry.
- There were a lot of unemployed people, social and
political problems, and sufferings.
± 1850 - ± 1900
-under the reign of Queen Victoria
-Rapid social change and development of economy
-John Dryden wrote „Absalom & Architopel‟ → attack Charles II‟s enemies.
-John Bunyam wrote Pilgrim Progress.
-William Wycherley wrote plays, Love in Wood and Country
Wife (exposing love affair and conspiracy).
-The writers of the period tried to combined literature with public and political affairs.
-The great poet was Alexander Pope. He wrote “Esssay on
Man” and “The Dunciad” (a satire).
-Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe.
-Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver Travels.
-Dr. Johnson wrote „The Vanity of Human Wishes.‟
-Romantic writing was mostly poetry.
-William Blake wrote Songs of Innocence and Experience.
-His poems are simple but symbolic. He shows the contrast
between the world of nature and childhood innocence and that of social control.
-William Wordsworth wrote „The World is too much with us‟, „The Rainbow‟ and „Solitary Reaper.‟
-Some other famous poets of this period were Samuel Taylor
Coleridge, John Keats, and Shelley.
-Jane Austen wrote Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.
Sir Walter Scott wrote Waverly and The Bride of
-Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.
-Charles Dickens was the famous writer of the period.
-He showed the sufferings of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document