Ages Essay, Research Paper
English Language and Literature in the Middle Ages
English Society of the Middle Ages saw many developments and new tendencies, but
none so obviously as the developments witnessed in the Language and Literature of that clip.
It began with the Norman Conquest: facile French words substituted for the? harsh?
Saxon equivalents, chiefly in the upper degrees of society. Literature began to reflect these
alterations in the linguistic communication, and continued to germinate throughout the Renissance. Together,
these facets helped specify the Middle Ages.
The Norman Conquest took topographic point in 1066 with the decease of King Edward. William
of Normandy, subsequently to be reffered to as? The Conquerer? , fought King Harold in order to
claim the Crown in Britian. Succeeding, William integrated Norman life into the Old
English civilization, concentrating in the higher tribunals and plitical scene. This integrating of
the Norman civilization so filtered down to the lower class.
The developmental tendencies of the English Language can be clearly seen in the
literature of the clip. Geoffrery Chaucer, who? s plants were a precursor to the
Renissance, wrote The Canterbury Tales, a aggregation of narratives set within a framing
narrative of a pilgrim’s journey to Canterbury Cathedral, the shrine of Saint Thomas? Becket. The
poet joins a set of pilgrims, vividly described in the Prologue, who assemble at the
Tabard Inn outside London for the journey to Canterbury. Ranging in position from a
Knight to a low Plowman, they are a elaborate position of 14th-century English society.
Another glance into the life of Middle England was created by William Langland,
who was purportedly the writer of the spiritual fable known as Piers Plowman,
considered one of the greatest English verse form of mediaeval times. This work sarcasms
corruptness among the clergy and the secular governments, and upholds the self-respect and value
of labour, represented by Piers Plowman. Sir Thomas Malory, a transcriber and compiler,
was the writer of the first great English prose heroic poem, Le morte
d’Arthur. It is believed that
he was an English knight of Warwickshire and spent many old ages in prison for political
discourtesies and civic offenses. Le morte d & # 8217 ; Arthur was purportedly composed while the writer
was in prison. It is a digest and interlingual rendition from old Gallic beginnings of most of the
narratives about the legendary Arthur, male monarch of the Britons, and his knights. The work is filled
with compassion for human mistakes and rememberance of the yearss of gallantry. His plants
are followed by John Wycliffe, who gained prominence in 1374 during a drawn-out
difference between Edward III, male monarch of England, and the pontificate over the payment of a
certain apostolic testimonial. Both the male monarch and Parliament were loath to pay the apostolic levies.
Wycliffe wrote several booklets rebuting the Catholic Pope & # 8217 ; s claims and continuing the right of
Parliament to restrict church power.
The growing of towns and clubs helped to distribute the new tendencies witnessed in the
Middle Ages. With towns, society was concentrated, promoting the spread of the new
linguistic communication and civilization. Clubs so helped convey people with similar endowments together,
supplying the ideal conditions for new innovations to originate. One such innovation crucial to
the development of literature and linguistic communication in general was the printing imperativeness. Developed by
Johann Gutenberg of Germany, the printing imperativeness allowed plants to be copied and
distributed en masse. William Caxton, the first Englishman to open a printing imperativeness, helped
with the transmittal of new thoughts in the Middle Ages, showing in the Renissance. Caxton
was responsible for the printing of many of the celebrated plants of Middle Age writers,
including Sir Thomas Malory? s Le morte d & # 8217 ; Arthur.
Therefore, it is readily appearent that the Middle Ages of English history was a
important clip in the development of the English linguistic communication and the literature to follow.
Without such developments witnessed in the plants of Chaucer, Wycliffe, and Malory, the
literature that followed, such as the plant of William Shakespeare, would non hold been