Friday, 6 July 2018

Anglo Norman Literature notes,Impact of Norman conquest on English literature notes

Anglo-Norman Literature & Impact of Norman conquest on English literature                         (1066-1350)



Anglo Norman Literature And it's Impact on English literature
Anglo Norman Literature




In in our last post we have discussed about the Anglo Saxon period ,literature ,its historical background ,Anglo Saxon poetry, lyrical poetry, and the Christian writer of the Anglo Saxon period and their contribution to the English language & literature.Now in this post we will discuss about the period after the Anglo Saxon that is Anglo norman period,its impact and literature of the Anglo Norman.

Anglo-Norman Literature & Impact of Norman conquest on English literature  



The period of Anglo Saxon lasted from 5th century to 1066 and come to end when the normans who were residing in Normandy (France) defeated the Anglo Saxon at the Battle of Hastings (1066) conquered England this is also popularly known as the Norman conquest of 1066 which results radical changes not only in English life and mind it also  deeply shaped the literature of English as well as language.


                 Impact of Norman conquest



Anglo norman period is also known as Age of transition between old English or middle English .After the conquest the Norman imported french literary ideal and French culture into England .In Norman court Latin and French were only recognised and honoured language due to which the English language was ignored and English literature remained silent for a long time ,But when the English literature re-appeared



After a century ,it was found significantly influenced by French literature but after the next two centuries,the cultivation of romances greatly enriched and expanded English literature under the french literary influence.


The impact of the Norman conquest to the expansion of English literature and culture were seen in other following ways too-




Firstly ,by the direct cultural and literary influence by Rome which the Norman had brought.


Secondly,as a result of the contact with the reputed scholars of Europe,there was the immense enlargement of learning and scholarship.


Thirdly, literary themes and expression of France themes and mode of expression again,the Norman inspired England with the ideal of a strong ,National, centralised government


              Anglo NormanImpact on English literature




Anglo Norman Literature




After the conquest there was a prolonged silence in native literature.But in the meantime there had grown a kind of Anglo-Norman literature which consisted of chronicles in rhymes.The revival of English literature was seen first through religious works .The religious works like poema morale followed by ormulam was the earliest of religious works.


All these religious works had their inspiration in French religious poetry.A sort of secular literature soon sprang up by the side of religious literature,it was mainly inspired by the literary ideal of French .Havelock The dane,and king Hom were the popular romances of the time ,both of these owed their adventurous stories to the french works of chivalry and romance .The french influence enlarged much the scope of medieval romances in England,and it become the most popular literary form in middle ages .



Layamon's Brut or Lazamon's Brut (c.1200)



This is the most important of the English timing chronicles,it was written about c.1205by lazamon in some 16000 long alleterative lines the history of Britain from the land of Brutus to the death of cadwallader .The source of Layamon's brut is the 'Roman De Brutt' .The vocabulary in archaic and tends to preserve the poetic tradition of old English poetry.


      Metrical romances/Medieval romances


Metrical romances was the most popular form of aristocratic secular literature of late middle English ages in England .This is quite difficult to define as a literary form .It may be long or short ,in verse or prose with or without love interest.


Chivalry romance is always a story of adventure involving famous kings or knights it's hero is a knight it characters are fair ladies in distress ,warriors in armour ,giants ,dragons enchanters and various enemies of church and state . The most famous of the chivalry romance were written by the Gawaine poets ,Chaucer and Malory .


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          Sir Gawaine and the green knight



The most interesting of all the Arthurian romances are those of the story of Sir Gawain and the green knight,it has a significant place for its theme of romance and technical excellence.in form sir Gawain is an interesting combination of French and Saxon elements.it is written in an elaborate stanza combining meter and alliteration.


The hero of the romance sir Gawaine belongs to the Arthurian cycle of romances.He is actually the central figure of a number of medieval romances and interesting of all these romances in this work.the subject matter of the poem is the celebration of the knightly qualities of sir Gawaine .The poem relates Gawain encounter with a strange green knight and the ultimate Victory of his noble and courageous qualities.



                 PEARL(Elegy Poem)



The pearl is an intensely human and realistic picture of a father's grief for his little daughter Margaret ,it is the saddest of all our early poems .it was written in the late 14th century .
But the most important remarkable secular work  was the  'The Owl And The Nightingale' -a long debate between the two birds ,one representing the gay side of life and other the sterner side of law and morals ,written about 1220 founded on the symbolic poetry of France it was an allegory of youth and age it indicated another aspects of literary development in england,under the influence of French.



All these English works both religious and secular received inspiration from the French literature and they demonstrate the impact of the Norman conquest on English life and literature.



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