Periods of English Literature Essay

1521 Words Oct 20th, 1999 7 Pages
Question: Show how the voices of writers through many centuries of literature have depicted a variety of mentalities and lifestyles. . Centuries could pass, and not many changes could be easily perceived by the common man, as those changes came gradually. Yet those changes can be readily discerned when looking at England as a whole, not looking at parts of history individually. The alterations of life, when looked at from a certain literary viewpoint, can be explained when one looks at the different periods in English literature, seeing the depictions of a certain era through writings that unintentionally convey great varieties in the mentality and lifestyles of the people who lived during that time. From war and violence to the …show more content…
The monks also tried to infuse the Anglo-Saxons with a love for Christianity, where the heroes were Christ and his Apostles, by writing poetry such as “Cinewulf”, “The Dream of the Rood” and “Elene”. It was a monk, in fact, who wrote down the tale of “Beowulf”, the most celebrated tale of the period. “Beowulf” is a folk epic that is representative of the Old English period, in both life and character. “Beowulf” can be summarized as the tale of a brave and heroic warrior, who has superhuman strength and all the important values of a fighter. He saves King Hrothgar’s people from two evil creatures, Grendel and the Sea Hag, and is rewarded with many great treasures. Later, he becomes King in his own country, and is a very wise and generous ruler. He dies very honorably, while battling with another supernatural creature to save his kingdom. King Alfred, of the West Saxons, is the veritable “Father of English Prose”. During the Viking invasions, it was Alfred who saved the Anglo-Saxon culture. He was a great leader and, along with his scholars, translated many Latin works into the language of the West Saxons. Alfred established schools, rebuilt the country, and attracted scholars and learned men. It was after this period of wars and fighting that England really began to develop itself, moulded into the country that it was to

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