Презентация "Anglo-Saxon Literature. The Norman Conquest. The Pre-Renaissance Period in England"


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ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE. THE NORMAN CONQUEST. THE PRE-RENAISSANCE PERIOD IN ENGLAND

ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE. THE NORMAN CONQUEST. THE PRE-RENAISSANCE PERIOD IN ENGLAND

  • Lecture 3
  • Трякина Светлана Анатольевна,
  • ГОУ СОШ №1232, Москва

The development of written literary tradition in European literature is closely connected with the spread of Christian religion.

  • It became the official religion of Rome in 306 and was brought to all Roman colonies, including Britain.
  • Together with their religion early Christians brought the Latin language, the official language of the Church all over Europe.

In the 4th century the Germanic tribes of the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes came to the British Isles.

  • They were pagans, and most of British Christians were either put to death or driven away to Wales and Ireland. That is why the stories of Christian martyrs and saints were typical of the literature of that time.

At the end of the 6th century Roman monks came to Britain again in order to convert people to Christianity.

  • They landed in Kent and built their first church in Canterbury.
  • Latin words entered the language of the Anglo-Saxons because the religious books were all in Latin.
  • The monasteries became centres of education and learning. Poets and writers imitated Latin books about the early Christians and saints. The names of old English poets were Caedmon ( the 7th century) and Cynewulf ( the 8th century).

The earlier prose writers and chronicles were

  • the Venerable Bede ( 673 – 735)who wrote “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People)
  • the English king Alfred the Great (871 – 901) who wrote “The Anglo- Saxon Chronicle”.

After the death of Alfred the Great fighting with the Danes began again. Some of them settled in Scotland and Ireland, others sailed across the English Channel and settled in France,in Normandy. That’s why they are called the Normans.

  • In 1066 William, Duke of Normandy ( William the Conqueror) defeated the English at Hastings, and the English became an oppressed nation. The Norman- French language was spoken by the ruling class and at court. But common people spoke the Anglo- Saxon dialects.

So, over 2 centuries communication in Britain went on in three languages –

  • Latin ( was used in monasteries and churches),
  • French ( was the official language of the state),
  • Anglo- Saxon ( was spoken by common people).

About a century after the Norman Conquest the first English universities were founded.

  • A fully developed university had 4 faculties:
  • Theology ( the study of religious books),Canon Law ( church laws), Medicine, Art.
  • At the faculty of Arts the students studied Latin Grammar, Rhetoric ( expressive speaking), Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and Music.

The most famous universities of Great Britain were established at that time.

  • Oxford University was founded in 1168
  • Cambridge University was founded in 1209

During the Norman period feudal culture was at its height.

  • The medieval poets came from France with the conquerors and brought tales in verse and lyrical poems about brave and gallant knights and beautiful ladies. They were sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments, such as a lute. The name of this genre is romance.

A number of romances were based on Celtic legends, especially those about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

  • They were collected and arranged in a series of stories in prose by Sir Thomas Malory in the 15th century.
  • There are 21 books in this epic.

In the literature of townsfolk we find the fable and the fabliau.

  • Fables were short stories with animals for characters and having a moral.

Fabliaux were funny metrical poems, full of indecent jokes, about cunning humbugs, silly old merchants and their unfaithful wives.

  • Fabliaux were funny metrical poems, full of indecent jokes, about cunning humbugs, silly old merchants and their unfaithful wives.
  • The literature of the town did not idealize characters as romances did.

In the first part of the 14th century the Normans made London their residence and the capital of the country. The London dialect gradually became the foundation of the national language.

In 1337 the Hundred Years’ War began with France began.

At that time there appeared poor priests who wandered from village to village and talked to the people. They protested against rich bishops and churchmen who were ignorant and could not teach people anything.

  • Such poor priests were the poet William Langland (1332 – 1400)
  • and John Wycliff (1320 – 1384) who translated part of the Bible into English.

Источники:

  • Кукурян И.Л., “An Outline of English Literature”М., изд-во МГУ, 1997г.
  • Иллюстрации:
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