Thursday, 28 July 2016

THE BEGINNING OF ENGLISH LITERATURE : OLD ENGLISH LITERATURE

As started already , in the English language (as in all other known languages) , poetry made its appearance before prose . English literature had its beginning in the distant past in unwritten poetry . The emergence of poetry , as a literary vehicle , actually took place long before the science of writting was at all known .

A . Anglo-Saxon Secular Poetry :

The earliest specimen of Anglo-Saxon poetry known is Widsith or The Far Wanderer or Traveller . There is nothing remarkable in its theme , which describes a minstrel's experience of different places visited by him add of the men as well aw manners of those places. The poem ends with the minstrel's glorification of his own craft that has always brought for him a ready welcome , although there is always a wandering search for a general lord to qccord patronage and protection to him 'until light and life fall in ruin together'.

Another early poem of the similar type is The complaint of Deor (although there are controversis about the time of its composition) . Deor is also a scop , a minstrel , although he is not a wanderer , like Widsith . Once he was the favourite of a loard , but his position has been supplanted by a rival poet , well skilled in songs , who has ousted him from his lord's favour. Deor complains against his unjust dismissal , but he takes heart with the thought of fatr's habitual ubkindness and calmly resigns himself to his misfortune by recalling old ,unhappy ,far-off things and seeks cinfort in the refrain-"That passed away ,so may this."

B . Anglo-Saxob Christian Poetry

The conversion of the Anglo-Saxon people to Christianity by the Celtic Missionaries in 597A.D. and Augustine and his monks in 588 A.D. had a great bearing not only on their life-style and religious faith but also on their literary and linguistic growth and expansion . The Non-Christian and Pre-Christian poetry of the time received some Christian touches during their rehanding by the Christian clerks who mostly recorded the same in writing permanently for the first time .

C. Anglo-Saxon Prose


As in other languages , prose came much later than pietry in English .  But Anglo-Saxob poetry. It was much simpler abd more current . As a result , after the Norman Conquest , Anglo-Saxon poetry had a natural end and no link with new literature . But Anglo-Saxon prose survived as the characteristic pattern of Ebglish Literature .

FROMATIVE INFLUENCES ON ENGLISH LITERATURE

It is finely commented that"that splendid fabric of English literature is a cost of many colours"The varying tints of different racial characteristics are found well matched here. In the making of this literature there is found the solid contribution from the spontaneous fancy of the Celt, the grave view of the Teuton, the sea-faring spirit of the Dane ,the lively imagination of the Norman , the golden knowledge of Rome and Greece and varied contacts with diverse lands and men of letters at different times.The greatness of English literature , indeed , is the result of a long drawn process , in which were participated equally by the Celts and the Teutons , the Danes and the Normans , the Italians and the Greeks , as also different literary influences from the places , far and near , cobtinental and colonial. Again , in the formative influences on English literature are found the stamps of racial characteristics of different people , friends or foes , in different times . Little is known of the first indwellers of Englan .The early history of English is replete with the tales of aggression and conquests . There was the Roman invasion ,  which ended in the subjugation of the natives of Britain (not those known as the English today) . After the departure of the Romans , there came the invasion of the Angles and the saxons . The saxon had , for the time being , to make a room for the Dances . And lastly there was the historic Norman Conquest of 1066.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

The language is found to precede literature everywhere . It makes the latter . Yet , literature ,a formidable one in particular,cultivates , develops, Andren even sponsors a language and makes it a great one . In fact ,the language and literature are complementary to each other . A great literature comes out of a great language and vice versa . This story of the language and literature is applicable,in no less measure,to the English language as well as literature. However,both of them had a dim beginning . but an eminent rise . The language , orginerally spoken by the Germanic settlers in Britain,was Teutonic in character . It belonged to the Teutonic group of languages and descended from the Germanic tongue,rater from low German. That language came to be known. after the settlementzaes English ( anglix ),subsequently termed as English. But all that was the matter of the remote past . Those settlers from Germania,before their settlement in Britain,no doubt,had some sort of literature. that was unwritten and carried preserved by tradition . Earliest English literature,as any other literature,had its origin in poetry .That was unwritten and consisted mainly of songs and poems, rather heroic and stirring n character . prose literature in English came much later only after the invention of the science of writing . But both the language and literature in English developed gradually but firmly,of course in no plain and smooth manner . They had a very humble beginning in a far off,remote,hardly illumined by the light of civilization, land . But their stupendous march has taken them,to the height of excellence today . The English language is immensely opulent and a rightly claimant for the status of the international language . English literature,too,is rich and resourceful in immensity, variety and artistry. This,perhaps, enjoys maximum popularity and celebrity in the literary world, old or new.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

ENGLAND AND THE ENGLISH PEOPLE

The English language and also literature belong to the Englishmen.But the Englishmen were not the original inhabitants of what is known today as England.They were actually the savage residents of some scatter localities of modern Germany,designated as Germania by the famous Roman historian Tacitus.In fact,the land, now known as Britain was the habitat of the Celtic people who might have settled there in the remote past during the gradual spread of Aryan civilization in the West.Those Celtic people,also known as Bretons or Brythoners,lived there as their native land,better known as Britain.They had to face aggressions,time and again,to defend their land and liberty.The result of one such aggression was the occupation of Britain by Rome in 43 A.D.The Roman rule of the country was long and continuous.The Celtic native were absolutely under the rigours of the Roman power.But that had,too,a cultural bearing on them and brought them to the light of civilization.The Roman Empire fell under the pressure of civil dissention in Rome.The Roman army withdrew from Britain. The Celtic people found themselves quite helpless and unprotected thereafter. The invasion from the savage Teutonic tribes started from thr latter part of thr fifth century.Those Teutonic tribes were mainly three-Angles,Saxons and Jutes.Without any military strength and the sense of national solidarity, It was impossible for the Celtic natives to resist the savage aggressors. So they fled away to the mountaneous regions of Wales,Angles,Saxons and Jutes-the three Teutonic trubes-settled in Britain with a certain Sort of regional divisions,made mutually by them.That was the beginning of the terms '!ENGLAND'AND'ENGLISH'.The present day rich stores if the English language and literature belonged originally of those tiny tribes of the remote past.