History and Anthology of English Literature. Mickey Xu. Major Content. Early and Medieval English Literature The English Renaissance The Period of the English Bourgeois The Eighteenth Century Romanticism in England Victoria age: English Critical Realism
● Britons, a tribe of Celts
● Roman Invasion (Roman occupation lasted for about 400 years)
Roman mode of life;
networks of highways
Rise of towns
● Norman Conquest—
French-speaking Normans under Duke William came in 1066,which marked the establishment of feudalism. William was crowned as the King of England.
1. French and Latin are upper languages. By the end of 14th century, Normans intermingled with English, English again dominated, but different from the old English, French words in.)
2. Two distinct classes: landlords and peasants.
3. The Rising of 1381
The peasants could endure no longer—Wat Tyler and John Ball—treachously and bloodily repressed—shakened the feudal system in England to root
with Grendel ；
with Grendel’s mother；
with the fire dragon
1. Features: Heroic Ideal is that of Warrior---physical strength and courage of a soldier is emphasized, rather than virtues of culture, mind, or spirit. 2. Alliteration: a strong feature of old English. Certain accented words in a line begin with the same consonant sound. 3. Metaphor &Understatement: Swan’s bath, whales’ road---sea, Ring-giver----king not troublesome---very welcome need not praise---a right to condemn
The most prevailing kind of literature in feudal England—the life and adventures of a noble hero—riding forth to seek adventures, fighting for his lord in battle—devoted to the church and the king—chivalry(code of manners and morals—the theme of loyalty to king and lord emphasized (stone of feudal morality)—only for nobles
folk lit. in English
religious lit. in Latin
romance in French.
the founder of English poetry
Father of English poetry
The Romaunt of the Rose
Troilus and Criseyde
The Canterbury Tales
1. Outline: 29 pilgrims and the author and the host of the inn. Each 4 story to beguile the time on their way to the Canterbury. 124 in all. But only 24 were finished.
2. Ways of Linking: The remarks of the host, inviting, criticizing, admiring and denouncing, connecting each tale and the prologue.
3. Prologue: Sketches of typical medieval figures supply a miniature of the English society of Chaucer’s time.
4. Different classes and characters suited by the story: The Wife of Bath (a city of textile, famous because of this book) : the most vivid one
The Canterbury Tales
1. The Canterbury Tales places Chaucer as the first great English poet in English literary history.
2. The tales that they tell, which are appropriate to their social status, reflect their interest in life.
But she was somdel deef, and that was scathe.
Of clooth makyng she hadde swich an haunt,
She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt.
In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon
That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde goon;
And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was she
That she was out of alle charitee.
He introduced from France the rhymed stanza of various types, esp. heroic couplet.
He was the first great poet who wrote in English, so he improved the social state of English. He made the dialect of London the standard for the modern English speech.
slow but steady
from a producer of wool to
a manufacturer of cloth--
war with Spain, the biggest rival of overseas expansion:
Renaissance: the rebirth of letters, an intellectual movement, first started in Italy, and then spread all over Europe. Two features: a thirsting curiosity for the classical literature. (study Greek and Latin authors, their works as the model literary forms, spirit different from Catholic dogma.) The keen interest in the activities of humanity. (humanism as the key-note. People not only live for God, but for their own desires and happiness)
Form: conversation between More and a returned voyager, Two books.
Content: the 1st book: a long discussion of the social conditions of England
The 2nd book: description of an ideal society, Utopia. Greek word: “No place”.
1） “a long poem, allegory planned in 12 books, he finished 6；dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I.
2）The Faerie Queene holds a feast of 12 day, each day a guest appeared to seek help. A knight is assigned to each guest. Each knight represents a virtue, as Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice and Courtesy.
3）Form: Spenserian stanza: eight iambic pentameter lines followed by a ninth line of six iambic feet, with the
rhyme scheme ababbcbcc.
the highest glory then
The London Theatre:
wooden buildings, circular in form, with tiers of galleries surrounding a roofless pit.
new plays are always needed to satisfy the audiences
University Wits (Lyly, Peele, Marlowe, Greene, Lodge and Nash): They entered the dramatic circle between 1587---1593.They were all of humble birth and struggled for a livelihood through writing. They had a close contact with the actors and audiences. The most gifted one is Marlowe.
greed for power.
Barabas, a rich merchant,
greed for money and gold.
German legend. A scholar,
insatiable thirsts for knowledge.
He sold his soul to the Devil so he may live 24 years in all voluptuousness.
Theme: praise of individuality and the conviction of the boundless possibility of human efforts in conquering the universe.But, the individualistic ambition brings ruins to themselves and the world.
Marlowe’s Literary Achievement:--the greatest of the pioneers of English drama. He first made blank verse the principal instrument of English drama.--Epical, lyrical verse. “mighty line”--His paved the way for Shakespeare.
--three children: Susanna, and the twins: Judith and Hamlet.
1586 or 87, arrived in London. kept horses out of play-houses. many odd jobs, difficulties in life. Then actor of minor roles, and worked hard with his pen. He revised the old plays and wrote new ones at the rate of two in one year.
Busy life: continual rehearsals and performances and writings.
Back to his native town in 1611, London theatre declined. back to London in 1614.
He died in 1616, buried in Stratford Church.
The 1st period(1590-94) early comedies and historical plays:
The 2nd Period(1595-1600): optimism, Sunshine and laughter.
The 3nd Period， England, risings against Queen’s absoluteness. clouds and storms in works, pessimism. A period of “ great tragedies” and “dark comedies.”
The 4th period(1608-1612): a period of romantic drama.
give historical reasons.
(The Comedy of Errors, the
Taming of the Shrew, Romeo
period of 6 “great comedies ” and 5 mature historical plays.
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado about Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar and some historical plays)
5 tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Timon of Athens) ,
3 comedies（Troilus and Cressida, All’s well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure),
2 Roman tragedies (Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus)
4 romances or “reconciliation plays ”, and a historical play. a great peacefulness of light, a harmony of earth and heaven.
(Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, Tempest, Henry VIII)
Two narrative poems:
Venus and Adonis
The Rape of Lucrece
Sonnets: “Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Never before Imprinted”(1609). 154 sonnets. 1-126 to a handsome young man, his patron, tries to persuade him to get married and beget offspring. 126-154 to a dark lady.
one of the founders of realism in world literature.
His works reflects the major social contradictions of his time.
Adaptation （He borrowed his plots from Greek legends and Roman history, Italian stories and English chronicles, and romances of his contemporaries. But they all become original compositions.）
Every Man in His Humour (1598)《人性互异》 Volpone, Or the Fox(1606) The Alchemist (1610) Bartholomew Fair (1614) Comedies of Humours
DRINK to me only with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kiss but in the cup, And I\'ll not look for wine.The thirst that from the soul doth rise Doth ask a drink divine;But might I of Jove\'s nectar sup, I would not change for thine. I sent thee late a rosy wreath, Not so much honoring thee,As giving it a hope that there It could not withered be.But thou thereon dids\'t only breathe, And sent\'st it back to me;Since when, it grows, and smells, I swear, Not of itself, but thee.