Technological Advancements

Topics: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Saxons Pages: 5 (1758 words) Published: November 8, 2008
Technological advancements have always played a big role in the literary progression of mankind. As knowledge is gained, technology has improved, and as technology improved so has the literature. Starting from the Anglo Saxon era, and continuing through the postmodern era. From oral to written stories, to the printing press, to the Industrial Revolution, man’s literature has changed progressively throughout each phase, taking on a different point of view and attaining more understanding. Stanley Kubrick, the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey, understand the concept of technological advances on mankind. And his movie can be considered as a parallel to this concept of advancements. Beginning in 450 AD, man has started the evolution of literature by taking it to the next step. This period of time is known as the Anglo Saxons era. The foundation for this era was left by the Romans. When invaded by outside forces, the Romans were forced to evacuate, leaving behind them roads, walls, and villas. These assets allowed the Anglo Saxons culture to grow and flourish. It also allowed King Alfred of Wessex to unify the land. During this period, religion was often practiced as a combination of paganism and Christianity. They also change from polytheism to monotheism. In this era, the monks were the only literate people. As a result, it affected the way literature was written. Stories told by bards and scops, old English poet, would be passed on to other. These stories would contain a rhyme scheme to help them retell the stories. Than these stories is written down by the monks. These stories would reflect the point of view and beliefs of the monks. A popular story that was well known during this time is Beowulf. As told by a bard, it is about a warrior killing a monster for fame and glory. But when written down in the manuscript, the theme of the story changed to reflects a well established Christian religion, and not just for self interest. But frequent attacks by invaders put an end to the Anglo Saxon era and there literature. And giving rise to the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages era begins with Duke William of Normandy defeat of King Harold of England. The strength of the Middle Ages lie with it great administration ability, which put an emphasis on law and order. In addition, the feudalism was put into place as a system of land ownership and social control. But feudalism began to decline due to the One Hundred Years war and then with Black Deaths. During the Middle Ages, ballads were a popular form of poetry for the common people. Ballads is written as songs and performed with accompanying music. These ballads often romanticized knighthood and contain elements of supernatural. Lord Randall and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are two pieces of literature of that reflects the era. It both depicts the glory and righteousness of the time period. Like the Anglo Saxon era, the Middle Ages literature is heavily influences by Christianity and the church. Ending in 1485, when the first Tudor King is crowned, the Renaissance began to ascend. The Renaissance was a period of artistic and intellectual pursuit. The Renaissance is also the rebirth of Greek and Roman Classics. A major advancement of this era was the printing press. The printing press allowed for books to be made inexpensively. As a result, books can be purchased by anybody. This led to an increased in literary rate and independent thoughts. Humanist teachings were very popular in the Renaissance. It was a method of learning, focuses on the study of ancient texts in the original, and appraises them through a combination of reasoning and empirical evidence. Humanists led writers ask the big questions such as “Why are we here?” and “What is the nature of man’s soul?” But asking these questions in their works was an inflammatory political act. Poets were sometime killed for religious writing. Shakespeare is one author who violated the sedition act. He achieved great wealth rewriting...
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