The majority of Old English poets are nameless; twelve are known by name from Medieval sources, but only four of those are known to us now with certainty by their vernacular works: Caedmon, Bede, Alfred, and Cynewulf. Only Caedmon, Bede, and Alfred are known to have biographies. Of these three, only Caedmon is believed to have been born in Britain; the other two were foreigners.
Bede was a Northumbrian monk who wrote an extensive history of England called "Ecclesiastical History of the English People". It covers the period from the arrival of Julius Caesar in Britain until about AD 700. Alfred was an Anglo-Saxon king who ruled over Wessex for most of his life. He is best known for leading the resistance against the invading Danes and thereby preserving English culture and literacy during its early stages.
Cynewulf was a prince of Wessex who became one of the most important poets of all time. His work includes poems about the creation of the world and the afterlife as well as poems about Christian themes such as suffering and sinfulness. He lived around 615-664 AD.
The others include Dudo of St-Quentin, William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, Richard de Bury, Robert of Gloucester, and RAILTON ALFREDI.
Literature from the Middle Ages was written in Latin. However, English has become well known for its influence on modern languages, especially French and Spanish. The Anglians who settled in England after the departure of Julius Caesar began to write in their own language. They used the Latin script but with many differences from the original form of the text. For example,'s' is used instead of 'z', and 'c' is used instead of 'q'. This new language came to be known as "Anglo-Saxon".
Many English poems have been attributed to various authors over time, but none of them can be confirmed until later. For example, some historians believe that Beowulf may have been written by a poet named Geatric who lived in about 500 A.D., but this cannot be confirmed until modern scholars can read ancient Anglian.
Other famous works written in Anglo-Saxon include The Dream of the Rood, The Lord's Prayer, and The Pardoner's Tale. These texts are important because they show how English was changing into a separate language even back then.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Joseph Addison (1672-1719), Richard Steele (1672-1729), and Samuel Johnson were among the main prose authors of the period (1704-1784). Other significant prose authors include James Bowell (1740–1795), Edlemund Burley (1729–1797), and Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). John Gay (1685-1732) and Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time. Other notable 17th-century playwrights include George Etherege (1560-1611), John Fletcher (1562-1625), Thomas Middleton (1580-1627), and Peter Weissner (1556-1620).
John Milton (1608-1674) and William Congreve (1670-1729) are considered the leading poets of the English language.
Joseph Addison and Richard Steele formed The Tatler magazine in 1709. It was followed by The Spectator, also written by Addison and Steele. These magazines were important factors in establishing good taste in literature. They showed that novels were an acceptable form for publication and criticism.
Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels (1726), which is a satirical description of several countries in Europe and America. It shows how different people live in different places.
Anglo-Saxon Poetry's Key Characteristics
The poem Beowulf, which has gained national epic stature in Britain, is one of the most prominent works from this time. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a history of early England. Caedmon's Hymn, composed in the seventh century, is one of the oldest extant written texts in English. It is a Christian song that serves as an epiphany hymn.
The Anglo-Saxons were a Germanic people who migrated into England after being driven out of their homeland by the Franks and other tribes. They arrived in five waves between 449 and 1066. The first four groups brought with them their own language (German), but the last group adopted English as their native tongue. Thus, English today contains elements of different languages: English, Welsh, French, Latin, and Scandinavian.
Beowulf is one of the most important pieces of English literature. It tells the story of Beowulf, a nobleman who was born into a powerful family but who lost his father when he was young. In order to regain his honor, he goes on a quest to kill the monster Grendel, who had been killing inhabitants of a Danish kingdom. On his way back from the mission, he discovers that someone is also trying to kill the monster, so he joins forces with another warrior to face their common enemy.
The poem was originally written in Old English but has been translated into many other languages.
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