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English Language and Literature in the Middle ages

English Language and Literature in the Middle Ages English Society of the Middle Ages saw many developments and new trends, but none so plainly as the developments witnessed in the Language and Literature of that time. It began with the Norman Conquest: eloquent french words substituted for the “harsh” saxon equivalents, primarily in the upper levels of society. Literature began to reflect thesechanges in the language, and continued to evolve throughout the Renissance. Together,these aspects helped define the Middle Ages.The Norman Conquest took place in 1066 with the death of King Edward. Williamof Normandy, later to be reffered to as “The Conquerer”, fought King Harold in order toclaim the crown in Britian. Succeeding, William integrated Norman life into the OldEnglish culture, concentrating in the higher courts and plitical scene. This integration ofthe Norman culture then filtered down to the underclass.The developmental trends of the English Language can be clearly seen in theliterature of the time. Geoffrery Chaucer, who’s works were a precursor to theRenissance, wrote The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories set within a framingstory of a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral, the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. Thepoet joins a band of pilgrims, vividly described in the Prologue, who assemble at theTabard Inn outside London for the journey to Canterbury. Ranging in status from aKnight to a humble Plowman, they are a detailed view of 14th-century English society. Another glimpse into the life of Middle England was created by William Langland,who was supposedly the author of the religious allegory known as Piers Plowman,considered one of the greatest English poems of medieval times. This work satirescorruption among the clergy and the secular authorities, and upholds the dignity and valueof labor, represented by Piers Plowman. Sir Thomas Malory, a translator and compiler,was the author of the first...

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