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The Norman period of English literature

The Normans invaded England in 1066 and at the battle of Hastings they defeated Anglo-Saxons. As a result of the Norman Conquest the Anglo-Saxon's monarchy fell. It was the disunity of Anglo-Saxon monarchy that made the Norman Conquest easier. The Normans were headed by the leader William Duke who established a very cruel power. Trying to expose the land they cruelly oppressed the population of the country, especially the peasantry who were treated worse than dogs. The Norman language became an official language, while English continued to be spoken only by common people. For about 3 centuries the regime existed until the middle of the 14th century. In spite of this the English language continued to exist and wasn't stamped out. It borrowed many words from French, enriching itself. In 1345 the English language was introduced at schools and became the language of the law. The literature of that time was mainly represented by romances devoted to the king Arthur and the 'knights of the round table'. The second half of the 14th century in England brought many changes in political, economic and social life and these changes couldn't but be reflected in literature. They began arise in English literature, so this period is called


Theme 1: The brief outline of the history of the Middle Ages, the impact of several invasions, including of Roman Empire, Angles, Saxon and Jutes, as well as Normans, on the formation of the then English literature.


1. What can you tell about Britons and their language?

2. When was Britain conquered by the Roman Empire and what was its result?

3. Why did Angles, Saxons and Jutes fight with one another?

4. Why is the Anglo-Saxon poem 'Beowulf' called the foundation-stone of all British poetry?

5. Name the main heroes of the poem 'Beowulf'.

6. Characterize Beowulf.

7. Why did Wiglaf put the blame for Beowulf's death on coward earls?

8. What is the merit of the poem?

9. Does the poem 'Beowulf' remind you of any Russian or Uzbek epic poems?

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 2086

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Theme 1: The Dawn of English Literature. The Anglo-Saxon and Norman Periods. | Theme 2: The Literature of the 14th and 15th Centuries.
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