Students find it dreary to illustrate traits of the protagonist, the antagonist and other characters in the plot. Moreover, commenting on the personality traits of the character borrowing from references in the text makes the process even more cumbersome. One has to build the premise for an answer by only mentioning those incidents that are relevant to what is asked. Students find it difficult to remember the exact lines from a poem or drama.
While studying poetry, students are expected to have a sound knowledge of rhyme, metre, allegories, alliterations, personifications, metaphor etc. Students may or may not have a conceptual knowledge of these terms; for those who do, they find it difficult to apply this knowledge in the case of a particular poem. To a large extent, there is symbolism in the case of poetry and drama. The language is also not one that we are exposed to in our daily lives.
This makes it difficult for students to understand poems and drama the first time they read it. Lastly, any answer or assignment in English Literature needs to be written in a refined language. It is one subject where students are expected to display the finesse of their writing abilities in the English language.
Other standard devices of this poetry are the kenning , a figurative name for a thing, usually expressed in a compound noun e.
That these verse techniques changed little during years of literary production suggests the extreme conservatism of Anglo-Saxon culture. Most Old English poetry is preserved in four manuscripts of the late 10th and early 11th centuries. But in the absence of such indications, Old English poems are hard to date, and the scholarly consensus that most were composed in the Midlands and the North in the 8th and 9th centuries gave way to uncertainty during the last two decades of the 20th century.
For most poems, there is no scholarly consensus beyond the belief that they were written between the 8th and the 11th centuries. If few poems can be dated accurately, still fewer can be attributed to particular poets. The most important author from whom a considerable body of work survives is Cynewulf , who wove his runic signature into the epilogues of four poems.
Aside from his name, little is known of him; he probably lived in the 9th century in Mercia or Northumbria. Several poems not by Cynewulf are associated with him because of their subject matter.
These include two lives of St. Guthlac and Andreas ; the latter, the apocryphal story of how St. Andrew fell into the hands of the cannibalistic and presumably mythical Mermedonians, has stylistic affinities with Beowulf. Of these, Exodus is remarkable for its intricate diction and bold imagery. The fragmentary Judith of the Beowulf Manuscript stirringly embellishes the story from the Apocrypha of the heroine who led the Jews to victory over the Assyrians.
The term elegy is used of Old English poems that lament the loss of worldly goods, glory, or human companionship. The account contains some of the best elegiac verse in the language, and, by setting marvelous tales against a historical background in which victory is always temporary and strife is always renewed, the poet gives the whole an elegiac cast.
Other heroic narratives are fragmentary. But the best historical poem is not from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.
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Page 1 of Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Hyde and H. One exception is 14th-century England, where a national literature made a brilliant showing in the works of William Langland, John Gower, and, above all, Geoffrey Chaucer. The troubled 15th century, however, produced only feeble imitations.
Another exception is the vigorous tradition of chronicle writing in French, distinguished by such…. Of the odd books he printed, 74 were in English, of which 22 were his own translations. Some, such as the Ordre of Chyvalry and….
More About English literature 18 references found in Britannica articles Assorted References contribution by Caxton In history of publishing: Literature science fiction In science fiction: Classic British science fiction criticism and textual study prosody In prosody Renaissance In literary criticism: The Renaissance technique In textual criticism: Related developments in the late 19th century history In England: Literature publishing In history of publishing: England Renaissance In history of Europe: The growth of vernacular literature View More.
Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Help us improve this article! Contact our editors with your feedback. Shelley, Keats, and Byron Other poets of the later period The novel: You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered.
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The website doesn't have a lot of content as of now but me and my team are working on it day and night to turn it into a large database of easy to grasp study guides for students of English literature.
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