Trace the Development of English Lit During Any One Part of Your Discussion Highlight How Significant Events in the Influence the Writing...Additionally Show How Characteristics of the Genre the Writer Uses

Topics: Anglo-Saxons, Old English, English language Pages: 7 (3096 words) Published: February 13, 2013
Trace the development of English lit during any one period...As part of your discussion highlight how significant events in the influence the writing...Additionally show how characteristics of the genre the writer uses reflects the period in which it was written. James Arthur Baldwin once stated that: "know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go." This quotation may apply to the span of the Anglo-Saxon period because of the coherent linkage to the origination of the English dialect and the modernization of English Literature. Over the years English literature has evolved greatly. There have been diverse changes to the structure and development of English language since the advent of Old English dialect during the Anglo-Saxon period to what we now speak and consider to be English language. “Old English is not uniform. It consists of various dialects, but literature needs to treat it as a language” (Michael Delahoyde.) Research has proven that around the world there are over one hundred (100) variants of English, from different American-English dialects, to those of Asia, Africa and Oceana. It is important for one to know both the origin of this powerful masterpiece known as the English Language and the importance of this literary period to the development of English literature. In attempting to do the aforementioned, the focus will be on the Anglo-Saxon people, their society, culture, and literary work with a view towards highlighting the impact on the development of the English language and English literature. The Anglo-Saxon or Old English period goes from the invasion of Celtic England in the first half of the fifth century (AD 700) up till the conquest in 1066 by William of Normandy. The Anglo-Saxons consisted of diverse ethnicity that forms one nation. There were three main ethnic groups that formed the Anglo-Saxon. These are: Angles from Angel in South-West Denmark, Saxon from North-West Germany, and Jute from Jutland in Central Denmark. These three main ethnic groups have made up most of the Anglo-Saxon society. However; smaller group of people from Germanic ethnic group were also associated with the Anglo-Saxons. These people shared the same language but were each ruled by different strong warriors who invaded and conquered Britain while the Romans were still in control. The Angles and the Saxon tribe being the largest of the groups when attacking other ethnic groups were often called the Anglo-Saxons. England which means the Land of the Angles was a name given after the Anglo-Saxon. A writer describes them as: “A warrior society that put swords and shields before fancy artifacts. Helmets were placed before gold and death before dishonour.” The Anglo-Saxon was a pagan society and the people were initially free; however, life for even the richest of the social groups was very hard. The Anglo-Saxon society had three social classes. There was an upper-class, middle class and a lower class. The Anglo-Saxon upper class was the Thanes. They would give gifts like weapons to their followers and they enjoyed hunting and feasting. The churls were the middle class in the Anglo-Saxon Society. Some churls were wealthy people while some were very poor. The lower class was slaves called Thralls. The churls and the Thanes were owners of Land. However, some churls had to rent land from a Thane. They would then work the Thane land for part of the week and give him part of their crops in exchange for rent. “The basis of society was the free peasant. However in time Anglo-Saxon churls began to lose their freedom. They became increasingly dependent on their Lords and under their control" (Tim Lambert.) Researches have indicated that most Anglo-Saxons were primitive subsistence farmers. It has also being proven that some of the men were craftsmen. The farmers grew wheat, barley, peas, cabbage, carrots, rye and parsnip. They reared animals such as pigs, cattle and flocks...
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