The Main Periods of English History and Literature• Old English and Medieval LiteratureBeowulf (Old English, also called Anglo-Saxon)The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (Middle English)• The Renaissance (Shakespeare, Raleigh, Donne, Lovelace, Milton)• The Restoration and 18th Century (Gay, Pope, Burns)• Romanticism and 19th Century (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Landor,Southey, Shelly, Keats, Byron, Tennyson, Emily Bronte, Stevenson)• The 20th Century (Yeats, Douglas, Bentley, Chesterton, Mansfield, Lawrence,Aldington)
Legend about Beowulf - the greatest warrior of the past ‘Beowulf’ is the longest surviving poem in Old English written in the 10th century, but composed at least two centuries earlier. The legend tells about events which take place in the Kingdom of Denmark during the reign of King Hrotgar. He ordered to build a castle for his warriors where they may sleep and take their meals. He named the castle ‘Heorot’, which means ‘Hall of the Hart’. But the noble warriors of King Hrotgar do not feel safe within the castle walls because of Grendel, an evil spirit of the forest. He comes at night and kills the man, then devours them. A brave warrior Beowulf (bee, wulf – пчелиный волк, т.е. медведь) and his people from the land of Geats come to fight with Grendel…
From the stretching moors, from the misty hollows,Grendel came creeping, accursed of God,A murderous ravager minded to snareSpoil of heroes in high-built hall.Under clouded heavens he held his wayTill there rose before him the high-roofed house,Wine-hall of warriors gleaming with gold…Storming the building he burst the portal,Though fastened of iron, with fiendish strength;Forced open the entrance in savage fury And Beowulf gained the glory of battle.And rushed in rage o’er the shining floor… Grendel, fated, fled to the fens,The demon delayed not, but quickly clutched To his joyless dwelling, sick unto death.A sleeping thane in his swift assault, He knew in his heart that his hours were numbered…Tore him to pieces, bit through the bones,Gulped the blood, and gobbled the flesh…Beowulf sprang to his feet, clutched Grendel fast,Though fingers were cracking, the fiend pulling free.The earl pressed after; the monster was mindedTo win his freedom and flee to the fens.He knew that his fingers were fast in the gripOf a savage foe. Sorry the venture,The raid the ravager made on the hall…The walls resounded, the fight was fierce…
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 -1400),known as the Father of Englishliterature, is widely considered thegreatest English poet of the MiddleAges and was the first poet to havebeen buried in Poets Corner ofWestminster Abbey. He achievedfame as an author, philosopher,alchemist and astronomer. Chauceralso maintained an active career inthe civil service as a courtier anddiplomat. Among his many works,which include The Book of theDuchess, the House of Fame, theLegend of Good Women andTroilus and Criseyde, he is bestknown today for The CanterburyTales. Chaucer is a crucial figurein developing the legitimacy of thevernacular, Middle English, at atime when the dominant literarylanguages in England were Frenchand Latin.
From Canterbury Tales A riddle written in Old English (Middle English)Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, Ic wæs fæmne geong, feaxhar cwene,And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, Ond ænlic rinc on ane tid;To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londs; Fleah mid fulgum ond on flode swom,And specially from every shires ende Deaf under ype dead mid fiscum,Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, Ond on foldan stop; hæfde ferδ cwicuThe holy blisful martir for to seeke,That hem hath holpen whan that they were seke.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Englishpoet and playwright, widely regarded as thegreatest writer in the English language.Shakespeare was born and brought up inStratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, hemarried Anne Hathaway, with whom he hadthree children. In 1585 he began asuccessful career in London as an actor,writer, and part owner of a playing companycalled the Lord Chamberlains Men, laterknown as the Kings Men. His early playswere mainly comedies and histories. He thenwrote mainly tragedies until about 1608,including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, andMacbeth, considered some of the finestworks in the English language.
Shakespeare famous monologue from HamletTo be or not to be: that is the question:Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,And, by opposing, end them? To die, - to sleep, -No more; and, by a sleep to say we end But that the dread of something after death,The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks The undiscovered country, from whose bournThat flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation No traveller returns, puzzles the will,Devoutly to be wished. To die; - to sleep; - And make us rather bear those ills we haveTo sleep! Perchance to dream! Ay, there s the rub; Than fly to others that we know not of?For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, And thus the native hue of resolutionMust give us pause: there s the respect Is sicklied over with the pale cast of thought,That makes calamity of so long life; The enterprises of great pitch and momentFor who would bear the whips and scorns of time, With this regard their currents turn awryThe oppressor s wrong, the proud man s contumely, And lose the name of action.The pangs of disprized love, the law s delay,The insolence of office, and the spurnsThat patient merit of the unworthy takes,When he himself might his quietus makeWith a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bare,To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
Shakespeare about love: Sonnet XCISome glory in their birth, some in their skill,Some in their wealth, some in their wealth, some in their bodies’ forceSome in their garments, though new-fangled ill,Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;And every humour hath his own adjunct pleasure,Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:But these particulars are not my measure;All these I better in one general best.Thy love is better than high birth to me,Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,Of more delight than hawks or horses be;And having thee of all men’s pride I boast:Wretched in this alone, that you mayst takeAll this away and me most wretched make.
Robert Burns (1759 –1796) iswidely regarded as the national poetof Scotland, and is celebratedworldwide. He is the best known ofthe poets who have written in theScots language, although much of hiswriting is also in English and a "light"Scots dialect, accessible to anaudience beyond Scotland. He isregarded as a pioneer of the Romanticmovement, and after his death hebecame a great source of inspirationto the founders of both liberalism andsocialism, and a cultural icon inScotland. Burns also collected folksongs from across Scotland, oftenrevising or adapting them. His songAuld Lang Syne is often sung atHogmanay (the last day of the year),and Scots Wha Hae served for a longtime as an unofficial national anthemof the country.
My Heart’s in the HighlandsMy heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,My heart’s in the Highlands achasing the deer,Chasing the wild deer and following the roe.My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.All hail to the Highlands, all hail to the North,The birth-place of valour, the country of worth,Wherever I wonder, wherever I rove,The hills of the Highlands forever I love.Farewell to the mountains, high covered with snow,Farewell to the straths and green valleys below,Farewell to the forests and high hanging woods,Farewell to the torrents and loud pouring floods.Adieu for a while, I can never forget thee,The land of my fathers, the soil of my free,I sigh for the hour that shall bid me retraceThe path of my childhood, my own native place.
O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red rose O my Luve’s like a red, red rose That’s newly sprung in June: O my Luve’s like the melodie That’s sweetly play’d in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deeply in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry; Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the sun I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o’ life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only Luve! And fare thee weel a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
Epigrams Of Lordly acquaintances you boast, У него герцогиня знакомая, And the Dukes that you dined wi’ yestreen, Пообедал он с графом на днях… Yet an insect’s an insect at most, Но осталось собой насекомое, Tho’ it crawl on the curl of a Queen! Побывав в королевских кудрях.That there is falsehood in his looks, Нет, у него не лживый взгляд.I must and will deny: Его глаза не лгут.They say their Master is a knave, Они правдиво говорят,And sure they do not lie. Что их владелец – плут. ‘Stop, thief!’ dame Nature call’d to death, Склонясь у гробового входа, As Willy drew his latest breath; - О смерть! – воскликнула природа, - ‘How shall I make a fool again? Когда удастся мне опять My choicest model thou hast ta’en.’ Такого олуха создать!.. In se’enteen hunder forty-nine В году семьсот сорок девятом The deil gat stuff to mak a swine, (Точнее я не помню даты) An’ coost it in a corner; Лепить свинью задумал черт. But wilily he chang’d his plan, Но вдруг в последнее мгновенье An’ shap’d it something like a man, Он изменил свое решенье, An’ ca’d it Andrew Turner. И вас он вылепил, милорд!
RhymeВ классическом английском стихосложении три вида рифмы:• Masculine (мужская): ударение падает на конечный слогAll days are nights to see till I see thee;And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.• Feminine (женская): ударение падает на предпоследний слогThy gowns, thy shoes, the beds of roses,Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,In folly ripe, in reason rotten.• Triple (трехсложная): ударение на третьем слоге от конца строки, чаще в легких,юмористических стихахStranger! Approach this spot with gravity!John Brown is filling his last cavity.
Blank verse ‘The tragic history of Dr. Faustus’ by Christopher Marlowe, 1589. The story tells about necromancer Faustus who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power.Mephostophilis: But now thou must bequeath it solemnly, And write a deed of gift with thine own blood, For that security craves Lucifer. If thou deny it, I must back to hell. Faustus: Stay, Mephostophilis, and tell me What good will my soul do thy lord?Mephostophilis: Enlarge his kingdom. Faustus: First will I question with thee about hell. Tell me, where is the place that men call hell?Mephostophilis: Under the heavens. Faustus: Ay, so are all things else; but whereabouts?Mephostophilis: Within the bowels of these elements, Where we are tortured and remain forever. Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place, but where we are is hell, And where hell is, there we must ever be… Faustus: I think hell’s a fable.Mephostophilis: Ay, think so still, till experience change thy mind
Love’s secret by William Blake Never seek to tell thy love, Love that never told can be; For the gentle wind doth move Silently, invisibly. I told my love, I told my love, I told her all my heart, Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears, Ah! She did depart! Soon after she was gone from me, A traveller came by, Silently, Invisibly: He took her with a sigh.
Lucy by William WordsworthShe dwelt among the untrodden waysBeside the springs of Dove,A Maid to whom there were none to praiseAnd very few to love.A violet by a mossy stoneHalf hidden from the eye!Fair as a star, when only oneIs shining in the sky.She lived unknown and few could knowWhen Lucy ceased to be;But she is in her grave, and, oh!The difference to me.
She is not fair by Samuel Coleridge She is not fair to outward view, As many maidens be; Her loveliness I never knew Until she smiled on me. Oh, then I saw her eye was bright, A well of love, a spring of light. But now her looks are coy and cold – To mine they ne’er reply; And Yet I ceased not to behold The love-light in her eye: Her very frowns are sweeter far Than smiles of other maidens are.
Walter Landor epigram on Georges the Kings George the First was always reckoned Vile, but viler George the Second; And what mortal ever heard Any good of George the Third? When from earth the Fourth descended God be praised, the Georges ended!
George Gordon Byron (1788 – 1824),commonly known simply as Lord Byron, was aBritish poet and a leading figure in the Romanticmovement. Among Byrons best-known works arethe brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When WeTwo Parted, and So, well go no more a roving, inaddition to the narrative poems Childe HaroldsPilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as oneof the greatest British poets and remains widelyread and influential.Byron was celebrated in life for aristocraticexcesses including huge debts, numerous loveaffairs, rumours of a scandalous incestuous liaisonwith his half-sister, and self-imposed exile. Hewas famously described by Lady Caroline Lambas "mad, bad and dangerous to know". It has beenspeculated that he suffered from bipolar Idisorder, or manic depression. He travelled tofight against the Ottoman Empire in the GreekWar of Independence, for which Greeks reverehim as a national hero. He died at 36 years oldfrom a fever contracted while in Missolonghi inGreece.
StanzasWhen a man has no freedom to fight for at home,Let him combat for that of his neighbours;Let him think of the glory of Greece and of Rome,And get knocked on the head for his labours.To be good to mankind is a chivalrous plan,And is always as nobly requited; Addressed to the Rev. J.T.Beecher,Then battle for freedom wherever you can,And, if not shot or hanged, you’ll get knighted. On His Advising the Author To Mix More with Society Dear Beecher, you tell me to mix with mankind; I cannot deny such a precept is wise; But retirement accords with the tone of my mind; I will never descend to a world I despise. Deceit is a stranger, as yet, to my soul; I, still, am unpractised to varnish the truth: Then, why should I live in a hateful control? Why waste, upon folly, the days of my youth?
Sympathy by Emily BronteThere should be no despair for youWhile nightly stars are burning,While evening pours its silent dewAnd sunshine gilds the morning.There should be no despair, though tearsMay flow down like a river:Are not the best beloved of yearsAround your heart forever?They weep – you weep – it must be so;Winds sigh as you are sighing;And Winter sheds its grief in snowWhere Autumn’s leaves are lying:Yet these revive, and from their fateYour fate cannot be parted,Then journey on, if not elate,Still, never broken-hearted!
If - - by Rudyard KiplingIf you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can make one heap of all your winningsIf you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,But make allowance on their doubting to; And lose, and start again at your beginningsIf you can wait and not be tired by waiting, And never breathe a word about your loss;Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, If you can force your heart and nerve and sinewOr being hated, don’t give way to hating, To serve your turn long after they are gone,And yet don’t look too good, don’t talk too wise: And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them ‘Hold on!’If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim, If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,And treat those two impostors just the same; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken If all man count with you, but none too much;Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, If you can feel the unforgiving minuteOr watch the things you gave your life to, broken, With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools; Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And - which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
Memory game1. What is the longest surviving poem in Old English?2. Who is called the Father of English literature and why?3. What are the most famous tragedies written by William Shakespeare?4. Who is considered the national poet of Scotland?5. What kinds of rhyme are used in English verse-making?6. What is the blank verse?7. What authors does the love lyrics you’ve just listen belong to?8. What is the most famous work of lord Byron?9. What differ Kipling view of society relationship from that of Byron?10. What periods in the history of English literature you may name?