By Michael Alexander
A background of English Literature offers a complete survey of 1 of the richest and oldest literatures on this planet. offered as a story, and usable as a piece of reference, this article bargains an account of literature from the beginnings of English till the current day. the writer starts by way of analyzing the scope of the sort of heritage by way of time, position, and the which means of "English". The classical prestige of any specific paintings is open to problem, and the suggestion of classical prestige itself is explored. The textual content is unrivalled in its use of pedagogical positive aspects and shows, delivering priceless insights into specific works, authors' biographies, and literary sessions.
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Extra info for A History of English Literature (Foundations)
He is as humane as any English non-dramatic poet, with a versatility and narrative skill never exceeded. Gower wrote in three languages, Chaucer in English only, an instrument with a richer tone and a deeper social reach than French or Latin. 1342-1400) was a bright star in a sky with many bright stars; his importance was recognized at his death. [p. 50] Piers Plowman Piers Plowman is a dream poem in the alliterative style. It opens on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire: In a sourer seson, whan soft was the sonne, I shope me in shroudes as I a shepe were, In habite as an heremite unholy of workes Went wyde in this world wondres to here.
Chaucer wakes with a book in his hand, Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Horse of Fame is a three-part vision in which the dreaming poet finds himself in a Temple of Venus, its glass walls engraved with the story of Dido and Aeneas. In Book II, Chaucer is carried up in the air by an Eagle who discourses on the theory of sound, to the House of Fame (Rumour, but also Poetry), a bewildering place described in Book III. ’. The Parlement of Fowls Chaucer’s first completed work is a dream, his second a broken dream; his next, The Parlement of Fowls, is a dream ending in a puzzle.
After the teller’s sympathy, it is a surprise to be told that the lovers’ joys were unreal. [p. 59] The surprise has been prepared. Each book opens with a lofty invocation in the manner of Dante, and the action is punctuated by comments from a work which Chaucer had translated, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, a medieval handbook to classical philosophy. Boethius speaks for a puzzled, suffering humanity, but eventually accepts Lady Philosophy’s austere arguments. The five books of Troilus follow the revolution of Fortune’s wheel: sexual bliss is fleeting and temporary, less real than eternal truths, and hence fals.