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.
Fresh ideals came to the fore; in particular, the ideal of freedom, long cherished in Englandwas being extended to every range of human endeavour. As that ideal swept through Europeit became natural to believe that the age of tyrants might soon end. The most notable feature of the poetry of the time is the new role of individual thought and personal feeling.
To Particularize is the alone Distinction of Merit. Poetry was regarded as conveying its own truth; sincerity was the criterion by which it was to be judged. But feeling had begun to receive particular emphasis and is found in most of the Romantic definitions of poetry. Another key quality of Romantic writing was its shift from the mimetic, or imitative, assumptions of the Neoclassical era to a new stress on imagination.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge saw the imagination as the supreme poetic quality, a quasi-divine creative force that made the poet a godlike being. Imagination, the Divine Vision.
A Old english literature essay sign of the diminished stress placed on judgment is the Romantic attitude to form: Hand in hand with the new conception of poetry and the insistence on a new subject matter went a demand for new ways of writing.
It could not be, for them, the language of feeling, and Wordsworth accordingly sought to bring the language of poetry back to that of common speech. Nevertheless, when he published his preface to Lyrical Ballads inthe time was ripe for a change: Poetry Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge Useful as it is to trace the common elements in Romantic poetry, there was little conformity among the poets themselves.
It is misleading to read the poetry of the first Romantics as if it had been written primarily to express their feelings. Their concern was rather to change the intellectual climate of the age. William Blake had been dissatisfied since boyhood with the current state of poetry and what he considered the irreligious drabness of contemporary thought.
His early development of a protective shield of mocking humour with which to face a world in which science had become trifling and art inconsequential is visible in the satirical An Island in the Moon written c.
His desire for renewal encouraged him to view the outbreak of the French Revolution as a momentous event. In works such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell —93 and Songs of Experiencehe attacked the hypocrisies of the age and the impersonal cruelties resulting from the dominance of analytic reason in contemporary thought.
Here, still using his own mythological characters, he portrayed the imaginative artist as the hero of society and suggested the possibility of redemption from the fallen or Urizenic condition.
William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridgemeanwhile, were also exploring the implications of the French Revolution. Wordsworth, who lived in France in —92 and fathered an illegitimate child there, was distressed when, soon after his return, Britain declared war on the republic, dividing his allegiance.
For the rest of his career, he was to brood on those events, trying to develop a view of humanity that would be faithful to his twin sense of the pathos of individual human fates and the unrealized potentialities in humanity as a whole.
His investigation of the relationship between nature and the human mind continued in the long autobiographical poem addressed to Coleridge and later titled The Prelude —99 in two books; in five books; in 13 books; revised continuously and published posthumously, The Prelude constitutes the most significant English expression of the Romantic discovery of the self as a topic for art and literature.What does an English degree cover?
A degree in English language and literature is designed to get you reading books, analyzing theories, critiquing prose and verse, and taking a more critical look at the signs and words surrounding us every day. Hebrew Bible, Old English Literature, Old Testament, Old English Language The composite nature of Andreas Scholars of the Old English poem Andreas have long debated its dating and authorship as the poem shares affinities both with Beowulf and the signed poems of Cynewulf.
The surviving remains of Old English literature are the flotsam and jetsam of a vanished world, manuscripts and fragments of texts divorced from their original context, most of them second- or thirdhand copies of unknown originals, many of them saved from oblivion only by chance or neglect.
The main objective of this course is to improve the student’s ability to analyze, interpret, and critique literature. Further, students learn and perfect the skill of writing an interpretive essay. THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LITERATURE An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes INDEX TO CHAPTERS.
If you print or download from this site, please consider making at least a $ donation through PayPal. Sandra Effinger [email protected] DropBox Access -- Binder from summer workshops ( pages), various lists and handouts housed on my r etired AP English page have been migrated.
An invitation will be issued to $ donors.