Periods of English Literature

Topics: Romanticism, Anglo-Saxons, John Keats Pages: 4 (1515 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Question: Show how the voices of writers through many centuries of literature have depicted a variety of mentalities and lifestyles. .
Centuries could pass, and not many changes could be easily perceived by the common man, as those changes came gradually. Yet those changes can be readily discerned when looking at England as a whole, not looking at parts of history individually. The alterations of life, when looked at from a certain literary viewpoint, can be explained when one looks at the different periods in English literature, seeing the depictions of a certain era through writings that unintentionally convey great varieties in the mentality and lifestyles of the people who lived during that time. From war and violence to the more genteel inclinations of love and peace, English literature has evolved throughout the centuries, most especially if one considers the differences between the Old English, Renaissance and Romantic periods.

The Anglo-Saxon history is undoubtedly very interesting to study, as the period spans several centuries and several different inhabitants of the land now known as England. The main characteristic of this time was the heroic ideal, which was the attempt by a hero to do things such as sailing a ship through a storm and taming a horse better than anyone else. The hero’s first priority, however, was to always be ready to fight. The Angles were a heathen race, worshipping old Nordic gods and Wyrd (fate). It is very important to remember that it was the Anglo-Saxons who determined the basic language and culture of the English race, therefore it was them that were the foundation upon which literature would stand. The first literature found in the history of this period was during the reign of the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. It was not really literature, in that it was written down by anybody, in mass-produced copies. The literature back then consisted of songs, sang by bards, who embellished the story with every...
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