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This is a work of uncertain date, celebrating the Battle of Maldon ofat which the Anglo-Saxons failed to prevent a Viking invasion. Beowulf is the most famous work in Old English, and has achieved national epic status in England, despite being set in Scandinavia. The only surviving manuscript is the Nowell Codexthe precise date of which is debated, but most estimates place it close to the year Beowulf is the conventional title,  and its composition is dated between the 8th   and the early 11th century.
The poem is one of the earliest attested examples of Old English and is, with the runic Ruthwell Cross and Franks Casket inscriptions, one of three candidates for the earliest attested example of Old English poetry.
It is also one of the earliest recorded examples of sustained poetry in a Germanic language. The longest is King Alfred 's —99 9th-century translation of Boethius ' Consolation of Philosophy. Middle English literature After the Norman conquest of England inthe written form of the Anglo-Saxon language became less common.
Under the influence of the new aristocracy, French became the standard language of courts, parliament, and polite society. As the invaders integrated, their language and literature mingled with that of the natives, and the Norman dialects of the ruling classes became Anglo-Norman.
From then until the 12th century, Anglo-Saxon underwent a gradual transition into Middle English. Political power was no longer in English hands, so that the West Saxon literary language had no more influence than any other dialect and Middle English literature was written in the many dialects that corresponded to the region, history, culture, and background of individual writers.
Piers Ploughman from a 14th-century manuscript Middle English Bible translationsnotably Wycliffe's Biblehelped to establish English as a literary language. Wycliffe's Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of, or at the instigation of, John Wycliffe.
They appeared between about and Another literary genre, that of Romancesappears in English from the 13th century, with King Horn and Havelock the Danebased on Anglo-Norman originals such as the Romance of Horn ca.
It is one of the better-known Arthurian stories of an established type known as the "beheading game". Developing from Welsh, Irish and English tradition, Sir Gawain highlights the importance of honour and chivalry.
Preserved in the same manuscript with Sir Gawayne were three other poems, now generally accepted as the work of the same author, including an intricate elegiac poem, Pearl. Chaucer is best known today for The Canterbury Tales. This is a collection of stories written in Middle English mostly in verse although some are in prosethat are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from Southwark to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.
Chaucer is a significant figure in the development of the legitimacy of the vernacularMiddle English, at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin.
At this time, literature in England was being written in various languages, including Latin, Norman-French, and English: A contemporary of William Langland and a personal friend of Chaucer, Gower is remembered primarily for three major works: Julian's Revelations of Divine Love about is believed to be the first published book written by a woman in the English language.
It was popular and influential in the later revival of interest in the Arthurian legends. Medieval theatre In the Middle Agesdrama in the vernacular languages of Europe may have emerged from enactments of the liturgy.
Mystery plays were presented in the porches of cathedrals or by strolling players on feast days. Miracle and mystery plays, along with morality plays or "interludes"later evolved into more elaborate forms of drama, such as was seen on the Elizabethan stages.
Another form of medieval theatre was the mummers' playsa form of early street theatre associated with the Morris danceconcentrating on themes such as Saint George and the Dragon and Robin Hood. These were folk tales re-telling old stories, and the actors travelled from town to town performing these for their audiences in return for money and hospitality.
Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song. They developed from the 10th to the 16th century, reaching the height of their popularity in the 15th century before being rendered obsolete by the rise of professional theatre.A One-of-a-Kind Prophecy Conference.
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Imagism was a movement in early 20th-century Anglo-American poetry that favored precision of imagery and clear, sharp language.
It has been described as the most influential movement in English poetry since the Pre-Raphaelites. As a poetic style it gave modernism its start in the early 20th century, and is considered to be the first organized modernist literary movement in the English language.
This article is focused on English-language literature rather than the literature of England, so that it includes writers from Scotland, Wales, the Crown dependencies, and the whole of Ireland, as well as literature in English from countries of the former British Empire, including the United States.