Literary Periods understanding literary periods Literary periods figure prominently in the treatment of literature by critics, scholars, teachers, publishers, readers, book sellers, and others. There is a great deal of misunderstanding, confusion, ambiguity, and disagreement about the way terms are used and works classified with respect to time.
This is a work of uncertain date, celebrating the Battle of Maldon ofat which the Anglo-Saxons failed to prevent a Viking invasion. Beowulf is the most famous work in Literature and historical periods English, and has achieved national epic status in England, despite being set in Scandinavia.
The only surviving manuscript is the Nowell Codexthe precise date of which is debated, but most estimates place it close to the year Beowulf is the conventional title,  and its composition is dated between the 8th   and the early 11th century. The poem is one of the earliest attested examples of Old English and is, with the runic Ruthwell Cross and Franks Casket inscriptions, one of three candidates for the earliest attested example of Old English poetry.
It is also one of the earliest recorded examples of sustained poetry in a Germanic language. Middle English literature After the Norman conquest of England inthe written form of the Anglo-Saxon language became less common.
Under the influence of the new aristocracy, French became the standard language of courts, parliament, and polite society.
As the invaders integrated, their language and literature mingled with that of the natives, and the Norman dialects of the ruling classes became Anglo-Norman. From then until the 12th century, Anglo-Saxon underwent a gradual transition into Middle English.
Political power was no longer in English hands, so that the West Saxon literary language had no more influence than any other dialect and Middle English literature was written in the many dialects that corresponded to the region, history, culture, and background of individual writers.
They appeared between about and Another literary genre, that of Romancesappears in English from the 13th century, with King Horn and Havelock the Danebased on Anglo-Norman originals such as the Romance of Horn ca. It is one of the better-known Arthurian stories of an established type known as the "beheading game".
Developing from Welsh, Irish and English tradition, Sir Gawain highlights the importance of honour and chivalry. Preserved in the same manuscript with Sir Gawayne were three other poems, now generally accepted as the work of the same author, including an intricate elegiac poem, Pearl.
Chaucer is best known today for The Canterbury Tales. This is a collection of stories written in Middle English mostly in verse although some are in prosethat are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from Southwark to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.
Chaucer is a significant figure in the development of the legitimacy of the vernacularMiddle English, at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. At this time, literature in England was being written in various languages, including Latin, Norman-French, and English: A contemporary of William Langland and a personal friend of Chaucer, Gower is remembered primarily for three major works: It was popular and influential in the later revival of interest in the Arthurian legends.
Medieval theatre In the Middle Agesdrama in the vernacular languages of Europe may have emerged from enactments of the liturgy. Mystery plays were presented in the porches of cathedrals or by strolling players on feast days. Miracle and mystery plays, along with morality plays or "interludes"later evolved into more elaborate forms of drama, such as was seen on the Elizabethan stages.
These were folk tales re-telling old stories, and the actors travelled from town to town performing these for their audiences in return for money and hospitality.
Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song.
They developed from the 10th to the 16th century, reaching the height of their popularity in the 15th century before being rendered obsolete by the rise of professional theatre.
There are four complete or nearly complete extant English biblical collections of plays from the late medieval period. The most complete is the York cycle of 48 pageants. They were performed in the city of Yorkfrom the middle of the 14th century until The plays were most popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th to the 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century. Like most of northern Europe, England saw little of these developments until more than a century later.
Renaissance style and ideas were slow in penetrating England, and the Elizabethan era in the second half of the 16th century is usually regarded as the height of the English Renaissance. Poems intended to be set to music as songs, such as those by Thomas Campion —became popular as printed literature was disseminated more widely in households.
Gorboduc is notable especially as the first verse drama in English to employ blank verseand for the way it developed elements, from the earlier morality plays and Senecan tragedyin the direction which would be followed by later playwrights. Jacobean period — [ edit ] In the early 17th century Shakespeare wrote the so-called " problem plays ", as well as a number of his best known tragediesincluding Macbeth and King Lear.
Less bleak than the tragedies, these four plays are graver in tone than the comedies of the s, but they end with reconciliation and the forgiveness of potentially tragic errors. A collection of by sonnetsdealing with themes such as the passage of time, love, beauty and mortality, were first published in a quarto.Video: Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course When it comes to studying literature, there's about years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language!
These periods are spans of time in which literature shared intellectual, linguistic, religious, and artistic influences. In the Western tradition, the early periods of literary history are roughly as follows below. Literature can be classified according to historical periods, genres, and political influences.
The concept of genre, which earlier was limited, has broadened over the centuries. A genre consists of artistic works which fall within a certain central theme, and examples of genre include romance, mystery, crime, fantasy, erotica, and adventure.
American Literature- Time Periods, Movements, Major Writers. Transcript of American Literature- Time Periods, Movements, Major Writers.
American Literature Modernism In modernism, loss of control is reflected in characters' actions and the writing itself.
Writing style. Literary Periods & History Timeline Here you will find our graphical timeline representing literary periods & movements, as well as major events or authors from literature history.
To learn more about specific eras you can browse back to our Literary Periods page. Video: Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course When it comes to studying literature, there's about years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language!