By Michael Alexander
A heritage of English Literature offers a entire survey of 1 of the richest and oldest literatures on this planet. provided as a story, and usable as a piece of reference, this article bargains an account of literature from the beginnings of English till the current day. the writer starts through interpreting the scope of one of these historical past when it comes to time, position, and the which means of "English". The classical prestige of any specific paintings is open to problem, and the inspiration of classical prestige itself is explored. The textual content is unrivalled in its use of pedagogical positive aspects and indicates, providing valuable insights into specific works, authors' biographies, and literary sessions.
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Additional info for A History of English Literature (Foundations)
Things done’, ‘doings’) to romances of chivalry is part of the rise of feudalism. A knight’s duty to serve God and the King had a religious orientation and a legal force; it was not just an honour-code in literature. Chivalry was historical as well as literary; its cultural prestige was spread through Romance. Romances were tales of adventurous and honourable deeds - deeds of war, at first; but knights also fought to defend ladies, or fought for ladies, introducing a new ethos. Although romance took popular forms, it began as a courtly genre, a leisure pursuit - like feasting, hunting, reading, playing chess, or love itself.
53] castle appears, so battlemented and pinnacled ‘That pared out of paper purely [exactly] it semed’. Gawain, who has a reputation as a gentleman, especially with the ladies, is welcomed to the castle by its hearty lord. The host proposes that while he hunts in the mornings, Gawain should sleep in to recover his strength; in the evenings they shall exchange their winnings. Early each morning the radiant lady of the castle comes to Gawain’s chamber and locks the door after her. She flirts with him, pressing him to take a kiss and other tokens of love.
The farmyard birds know that love is physical; but humans should do better than birds. The Temple of Venus is hot with idolized sexual pleasure. Scipio’s Dream says that love of the common good leads to immortality, unlike the love of likerous folk. Extremes of lust and of idealization are, then, to be avoided. Yet human nature is not very reasonable: love remains a puzzle, insoluble to those who take themselves too seriously. Such a fresh, elegant presentation of complex issues is dazzlingly new in English.