English Literature Essays Free

A Brief History of English Literature

The history of English literature is the development of writings and literary techniques used in it over time. English literature is a hundred years old and continues to be the most popular course of study in high schools and institutions of higher learning. English literature is so broad and confusing to many people. English literature includes prose fictions, short stories, drama, novels and poetry among other writings.

The old English Literature otherwise known as the Anglo-Saxon was written in between the years 600 and 1100. The language descended from North Germanic tribes who settled in England in the 5th century. Since there were no writings, the earliest English writings were composed orally and passed by word of mouth from speaker to speaker until they learned writing the Latin alphabet from Roman missionaries. The old English literature is mostly chronicle, narrative or epic. Caedmon and Cynewulf are two old authors known for their works.

From about 1100 to 1500, the Middle English literature was used. During this time the ideas of French and Celtic literature appeared in the English writing. No one can talk of the Middle English Literature without uttering the great name of Geoffrey Chaucer; Canterbury Tales is his greatest work. He mostly did narrative poetry as well as prose and lyric poetry.

In the year 1503 to around 1603, the Elizabethan Literature was used. It earned its name because it emerged during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The most important writers and poets during this period are William Shakespeare who is considered the greatest playwright of all times, Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser the author of The Faerie Queene. The greatest works of this period are Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella, Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Shakespeare’s sonnets.

The Age of Milton literature then emerged immediately after the Elizabeth literature. John Milton was the most talented poet during this period. Some of Milton’s great works include a great biblical epic and Paradise Lost.

With Charles II coming to power after the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, plays were no longer prohibited, and Restoration comedy arose in the theatres. The Restoration drama came along with a new kind of comic drama that dealt with the issues of sexual politics. The plays were mainly heroic and comedy of manners. John Dryden is a great author that wrote heroic plays.

Then came Neoclassicism literature. Poetry during the neoclassicism period was to be guided by reason, the poet’s role was to teach and educate. Moreover, poetry was to be written according to certain rules and use a special diction.  John Dryden and Alexander Pope were the major writers.

The Romantic period during the 18th and 19th century gave rise to Romantic poetry. This kind of poetry was marked with poetry that was used to express personal feelings and emotions. Imagination became the main source of poetry. Renowned Romantic poets include William Wordsmith and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Later Romanticism works by John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley attempted to make language beautiful.

The Victorian Literature was marked with Victorian poetry and novels in the 19th century. The major poets of this period were Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson. Due to increased adult literacy in the 19th-century novels were introduced. The greatest English novelist of the 19th century Charles Dickens who varied tones and used irony in most of his works.

Modern literature that expresses the loss of faith, uncertainty and suffering emerged in the twentieth century as a result of political changes and the two world wars that destroyed the sense of confidence in the Victorian literature. Bernard Shaw with plays that are inspired by social criticism is considered the best twentieth-century dramatist. Major literary figures include Samuel Beckett in drama, W.H Auden and Dylan Thomas in poetry.

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English Literature Essays Fifth business: search for self identity  Fifth Business: Search for Self Identity In Robertson Davies' novel Fifth Business, the author uses the events that occurred in Deptford as a Canadian Allusion to reveal character identity. Three characters in the novel from Deptford: Boy Staunton, Dunstan Ramsey and Paul Dempster, leave Deptford to embark on a new identity to rid of their horrid past. The three main characters of t... 
English Literature Essays Funeral  Funeral Was there a specter at the funeral of local resident Mrs. Drablow? An unexplained sighting of a mysterious woman in black has fuelled local legends of Drablow hauntings. The late Mrs. Drablow, of Eel Marsh House, was a wealthy landowner and well known reclusive. Her funeral took place on the cold morning of November 6th at Crythin Gifford parish church. Attending ... 
English Literature Essays Grendel  Grendel Grendel is an unhappy soul in John Gardner's book "Grendel", because he feels useless in society and doesn't want to accept his given role. Throughout this whole book Grendel feels he has no friend in the outside word and no one to except him besides his own mother. He doesn't want to except his role in society which is to be the Great Destroyer. Man creates a huge proble... 
English Literature Essays Gulliver's travels  Gulliver's Travels February 27, 1996 As a seemingly wise and educated man, throughout the novel Gulliver's Tarvels, the narrator cleverly gains the reader's respect as a thinking and observant individual. With this position in mind, the comments and ideas that Gulliver inflicts upon those reading about his journeys certainly have their own identity as they coincide with his belie... 
English Literature Essays Gulliver's travels  Gulliver's Travels Although it appears simple and straightforward on the surface, a mere travelogue intended solely for the amusement of children, Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, proves, upon closer examination, to be a critical and insightful work satirizing the political and social systems of eighteenth-century England. Through frequent and successful employment of irony... 
English Literature Essays Harrison bergeron  Harrison Bergeron In "Harrison Bergeron" Kurt Vonnegut depicts a society in which everyone is mentally, physically, and socially equal. Throughout the history of our country, Americans have sought racial, gender, and socio-economic equality. On paper such a society seems ideal. Through the story one might infer that Vonnegut views the concept of total equality as ludicrous. ... 
English Literature Essays Hawthorne's characters: pride of intellect  Hawthorne's Characters: Pride of Intellect Many of Hawthorne's characters wrap themselves in a pride of intellect. The characters become victims of their pride and consequently suffer. Goodman Brown, from "Young Goodman Brown" and Hooper, from "The Minister's Black Veil" are two characters that suffer from a pride of intellect. Their pride causes them similar problems and they ... 
English Literature Essays History of pete dalberg family  History of Pete Dalberg Family By Jesse G. More This is Jesse G. More presenting a history of the Dalberg family starting with my Grandparents Pete and Ingaborg Dalberg. Both of my grandparents were born in Apple Bowl Sweden in the province of Dollernaw. Dollernaw is the province that is close to the Norwegian boarder that is in timber country. Pete was born in 1858 he died i... 
English Literature Essays How the kkk, anarchists, preaks compare to big brother  How the KKK, Anarchists, Preaks Compare to Big Brother Many organizations today are considered bad or "evil". Groups like the Ku Klux Klan, The Anarchy Organization, Supreme White Power, which are Skinheads and Neo-Nazis, and Phreaks are a few of these groups. These groups all have one thing in common......they somehow break the law. The Ku Klux Klan "terrorized publi... 
English Literature Essays Human flaws of orgon in tartuffee  Human Flaws of Orgon In Tartuffee The play "Tartuffe", by Moliere, is a work that was created to show people a flaw in their human nature. There are two characters who portray the main flaw presented in the play. Both Madame Pernelle and Orgon are blinded to the farces of Tartuffe and must be coaxed into believing the truth. The fact that Orgon and Madame Pernelle are too weak to see... 
English Literature Essays In an oldster's mind  In An Oldster's Mind Crowd and noise always interrupt my mind in the TV room. I desire someone to take me back to my private room. I want to be alone and think about my personal things. I appreciate that a nurse helping me to go back my room. Along the hallway, I look straight forward and do nothing like a plant. What factor causes the plant to move? I turn my head as if I have seen ... 
English Literature Essays Interpretation of ibsen's "a doll's house"  Interpretation of Ibsen's "A Doll's House" "A Doll's House" is classified under the "second phase" of Henrik Ibsen's career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play f... 
English Literature Essays Jane eyre: imagery  Jane Eyre: Imagery Jane Eyre tells the story of a woman progressing on the path towards acceptance. Throughout her journey, Jane comes across many obstacles. Male dominance proves to be the biggest obstacle at each stop of Jane's journey: Gateshead Hall, Lowood Institution, Thornfield Manor, Moor House, and Ferndean Manor. Through the progression of the story, Jane slowly learns... 
English Literature Essays Mavis gallant's bernadette  Mavis Gallant's Bernadette Fear, it has a way of controlling everything that it comes in contact with. As young children we are introduced to this intimidating desire with intrigue and suspicion. As we age, the thoughts of fears become more like realities, ideas of loneliness and death enter the picture as comprehensible thoughts and views of the future. These issues make up th... 
English Literature Essays Mayor of casterbridge  Mayor Of Casterbridge Chapter 2 Henchard made his way into the town of Casterbridge, penniless, depressed, and entirely ignorant of what he might do to sustain himself. He didn't much care for himself now, knowing the deed he had done. It was out of season for hay-trussing, and he had not been able to find work at that task even when it was at the height of its demand. He was... 
English Literature Essays One flew over the cuckoo's nest: mcmurphy  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with its meaningful message of individualism, was an extremely influential novel during the 1960's. In addition, its author, Ken Kesey, played a significant role in the development of the counterculture of the 60's; this included all people who did not conform to society's standards, experimented in drugs, ... 
English Literature Essays Pen pals: based on x-files characters  Pen Pals: Based On X-Files Characters Forward: This story was written based on the X-Files characters created by Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen productions. In no way this story is being used to infringe or defame these characters or the X-Files television series. The story is based on my speculation of what happened to Agent Fox Mulder's sister when she was a child. According to the... 
English Literature Essays Rebecca by daphne du maurier  Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier Texts show us how experience often changes people. 'Rebecca', a novel written by Daphne Du Maurier illustrates this point. Throughout the engrossing story, the characters experience much and as a result, the characters undergo both temporary and life-altering changes to their thoughts, beliefs and behaviour. In the beginning of the novel, the narr... 
English Literature Essays Steinbeck's east of eden  Steinbeck's East of Eden In the novel , East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Catherine Ames is one of the main characters. She is introduced to the reader as a monster and as time goes on , she possesses both monster like and animal qualities. As Catherine sher gets older and wiser , she gets more evil and displays her monster and animals like characteristics. She knows she is powerful a... 
English Literature Essays The bell jar  The Bell Jar The book starts with the setting in New York as the main character is pondering the execution of the Rosenbergs. Esther the main character is in New York because of contest held by a fashion magazine. While in New York Esther tells about her life by the encounters she's had. She is a college student and is in the honors courses. The whole trip to New York had messed... 
English Literature Essays The collected works of nicholas cottrell  The Collected Works of Nicholas Cottrell Collected Works, Vol. 1 Disclaimer and Copyright Notice: All works within are copyrighted to Nicholas Cottrell, hereafter known as "the author". Unauthorized copying is prohibited. Each reader is authorized to make five (5) copies and distribute them in any manner as long as profit is not gained. This contains subject matter that you may find... 
English Literature Essays The development of desire  The Development of Desire The development of the male warrior, throughout literature, has a direct relationship with the development of western civilization. The attributes a warrior holds, fall respectively with the attributes that each society held as valuable. These characteristics, started by societies ideals, become the warrior's only reasons for continuing their heroics. T... 
English Literature Essays The devil and tom walker: human intent and the aftermath of it  The Devil and Tom Walker: Human Intent and the Aftermath of It Washington Irving, in writing "The Devil and Tom Walker", and Stephen Vincent Benet, in writing "The Devil and Daniel Webster" illustrate to the reader the consequences of man's desire for material wealth and how a person's motivation for a relationship with the devil affects the outcome of the "deal". In these two di... 
English Literature Essays The divine comedy: dante  The Divine Comedy: Dante The character of Dante in The Divine Comedy who descended into the inferno caused me to stop and think about this awful place. As the reader I got to take an imaginary journey with Dante to a horrible place where I do not care about going. While Dante descended into hell I plan on ascending into heaven someday. Dante had a choice to make whether or not to ... 
English Literature Essays The life and hard times of grantly marshall  The Life and Hard Times of Grantly Marshall Could anyone imagine having no money, few friends, and no chance to succeed in life? Well, for one individual this situation is all too real. Grantly Reed Marshall, a 18-year-old high school student from Franklin Square, Ohio, had big dreams but little money. Grantly had reached a crucial time in his life. He desperately wanted to atte... 
English Literature Essays The scarlet ibis  The Scarlet Ibis Brotherhood can either be "the state or quality of being a brother, or an association of men united in a common interest, work, etc., as a fraternity." That statement says that someone really does not need to have another sibling to be a brother. Friends can act like brothers, or people in a fraternity can be brothers. I am in DeMolay and all the other members are ... 
English Literature Essays The trip to halawa valley  The Trip to Halawa Valley By: Jay Babson "The Trip to Halawa Valley," is a short story written by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. The story is about a son succeeding and getting married in Hawaii, and the reunification of his divorced parents. The parents become the main focus of the story when the son suggests that they go on a trip to Halawa Valley. In this story Schwartz is... 
English Literature Essays Their eyes were watching god: everybody has to find out about living for themselves  Their Eyes Were Watching God: Everybody Has To Find Out About Living For Themselves Janie Crawford evolving selfhood through three marriages. Fair-skinned, long haired, dreamy as a child, Janie grows up expecting better treatment than she gets. Living life as one man's mules or another man's adornment. Janie is one black woman who does not have to live in lost sorrow, bitterne... 
English Literature Essays Uh-oh: some observations from both sides of the refrigerator door  Uh-Oh: Some Observations From Both Sides of The Refrigerator Door Book By Robert Fulghum Report by (Your Name Here) Uh-Oh was written by Robert Fulghum, it is 244 pages long and was published by Villard Books. This book is a collection of small stories pertaining to the life of the author, and also his opinions, thoughts, and philosophies. There are no specific characte... 
English Literature Essays Violent behavior in society  Violent Behavior in Society It gained through violent behavior is only temporary and it lasts until the time of revenge comes around. Violence was glorified hundreds of years ago. Back then it was a form of a pure entertainment. We know how among ancient Romans, gladiators (usually slaves or captives trained for the purpose),fought with swords or other weapons at public "sh... 
English Literature Essays Volcanos  Volcanos This paper will define and discuss the volcano to include: types of volcanoes, formation of a volcano, and elements of a volcano; such as, lava, rock fragments, and gas. This paper also tells a little bit about volcanic activity in different parts of the world. What is a volcano? A volcano is a vent in the earth from which molten rock and gas erupt. The molten rock th... 
English Literature Essays Volvo the collectable classic  Volvo the Collectable Classic In this article it stated that when Volvo was introduced to the states in 1956. The PV444, was the first US bound automobile ever. The car had resembled a smaller version of the 1946 Ford Tutor. The car featured a two piece windshield, small engine, and all of the standard features of a car of it's time. About three years later Volvo came out with... 
English Literature Essays Why do i want to attend college  Why Do I Want to Attend College Willie F. Dennis My purpose and goals in attending college is to make something of my life. Noone want's to be a nobody. But sometimes it takes time in order for one to realize this. Upon graduation from highschool, I, like the majority of other highschool graduates, had no clue what direction my life was heading or even what I wanted to become. S... 
English Literature Essays Why sign up for enterprise and innovation  Why Sign Up For Enterprise and Innovation Teens are facing a major unemployment rate when they come out of High School. This unemployment rate could be cut if students would learn and grasp knowledge of business, economy, and new technology. This course should help in grasping all those ideas. This essay will start this process of learning by setting goals and showing how they ca... 
English Literature Essays Writing a college essay  Writing a College Essay Writing a college essay can be a very difficult task. However, there are techniques to help make this task easier. The writing process is a three stage approach to planning and creating a college essay. These stages are known as prewriting, writing, and revising. If a student follows this process, she will write a good paper. The first stage of the writi... 
English Literature Essays Writing.......it's not just for fun anymore!  Writing.......It's Not Just For Fun Anymore! I am writing to support the new writing class being discussed for the Junors' and Seniors' curriculum. I bielive that these classes will help them not only in the work force, but will give them a better education. In the world today, writing plays an important roll. there are always reports to be writen speeches to e givin, and ... 
English Literature Essays Wuthering heights: summary  Wuthering Heights: Summary Emily Bronte was born in Thorton, Yorkshire, in 1918. Wuthering Heights was Bronte's only book; however, she died in 1848 and never knew of the book's success. It is said by many to be the finest novel in the English language. Just before she dies, Catherine Earnshaw gives birth to a beautiful baby girl named Cathy. After Catherine married Edgar, heathcli... 
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