- Обыкновенно начало английской литературы относят к началу Англосаксонского периода. Первые крупные памятники англосаксонской литературы памятники латинские принадлежат представителям духовенства: Альдгельм, живший во второй половине VII века, автор витиеватой прозы и стихов, Бид автор знаменитой "Церковной истории англов",Алкуин учёный монах, знаток грамматики, риторики, диалектики, переехавший в 60-летнем возрасте ко двору Карла Великого).Что касается древнейших памятников англо-саксонского языка, то крупные поэтические произведения доходят до нас от XI века, если не считать памятников документального характера, хроник, текстов законов.Самым замечательным памятником древней английской поэзии является поэма о Беовульфе. В ней описываются события, относящиеся к первой половине VI века, эпохе борьбы франков с готами.
The main protagonist, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose great hall, Heorot, is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills both Grendel and Grendel's mother, the latter with a magical sword.Later in his life, Beowulf is himself king of the Geats, and finds his realm terrorized by a dragon whose treasure had been stolen from his hoard in a burial mound. He attacks the dragon with the help of his thegns, but they do not succeed. Beowulf decides to follow the dragon into its lair, at Earnanæs, but only his young Swedish relative Wiglaf dares join him. Beowulf finally slays the dragon, but is mortally wounded. He is buried in a tumulus by the sea.Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in medias res ("into the middle of affairs") or simply, "in the middle", which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity. Although the poem begins with Beowulf's arrival, Grendel's attacks have been going on for some time. The poet who composed Beowulf, while objective in telling the tale, nonetheless utilizes a certain style to maintain excitement and adventure within the story. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages are spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and deeds of valor.is it a Christian work set in a Germanic pagan context? The question suggests that the conversion from the Germanic pagan beliefs to Christian ones was a very slow and gradual process over several centuries, and it remains unclear the ultimate nature of the poem's message in respect to religious belief at the time it was written. The poem is set in pagan times, and none of the characters is demonstrably Christian.
"Золотой век" англо-саксонской литературы до нашествия норманновэпоха Альфреда Великого, победителя датчан, в течение почти двух веков опустошавших Британию. Альфред много сделал для восстановления разрушенной культуры, для поднятия образованности, сам был писателем и переводчиком (перевёл, в том числе, на англо-саксонский язык "Церковную историю" Бида, написанную на латыни).
The Battle of Maldon' is the name conventionally given to a surviving 325-line fragment of Old English poetry. Linguistic study has led to the conjecture that initially the complete poem was transmitted orally, then in a lost manuscript in the East Saxon dialect and now survives as a fragment in the West Saxon form, possibly that of a scribe active at the Monastery of Worcester late in the 11th century . At the time of battle, English royal policy of responding to Viking incursions was split. Some favoured paying off the Viking invaders with land and wealth, while others favoured fighting to the last man. Recent scholarship suggests that Byrhtnoth held this latter attitude, hence his moving speeches of patriotism in the poem.The Vikings sailed up the Blackwater (then called the Panta), and Byrhtnoth called out his levy. The poem begins with him ordering his men to stand and how to hold weapons. His men, except for his household guard, were peasants and householders from the area. He ordered them to "send steed away and stride forwards": they arrived on horses but fought on foot. The Vikings sailed up to a small island in the river. At ebb, the river leaves a land bridge from this island to the shore; the description seems to have matched the Northey Island causeway at that time. This would place the site of the battle about two miles southeast of Maldon. Olaf addressed the Saxons, promising to sail away if he was paid with gold and armour from the lord. Byrhtnoth replied, "We will pay you with spear tips and sword blades."Olaf's forces could not make headway against the troops guarding the small land bridge, and he asked Byrhtnoth to allow his warriors onto the shore. Byrhtnoth, for his ofermōde (line 89b), let all the Vikings cross to the mainland. Battle was joined, but an Englishman called Godrīc fled riding Byrhtnoth's horse. Godrīc's brothers Godwine and Godwīg followed him. Then many English fled, recognizing the horse and thinking that its rider was Byrhtnoth fleeing. The Vikings overcame the Saxons after losing many men, killing Byrhtnoth. After the battle Byrhtnoth's body was found with its head missing, but his gold-hilted sword was still with his body. The only known survivor from Cædmon's oeuvre is his Hymn. Cædmon's Hymn, the nine-line alliterative vernacular praise poem in honour of God which he supposedly learned to sing in his initial dream. The poem is known from 21 manuscript copies making it the best-attested Old English poem after Bede's Death Song (with 35 witnesses) and the best attested in the poetic corpus in manuscripts copied or owned in the British Isles during the Anglo-Saxon period. The Hymn also has by far the most complicated known textual history of any surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. It is found in two dialects. It is one of the earliest attested examples of written Old English and one of the earliest recorded examples of sustained poetry in a Germanic language. Together with the runic Ruthwell Cross and Franks Casket inscriptions, Cædmon's Hymn is one of three candidates for the earliest attested example of Old English poetry.There is continuing critical debate about the status of the poem as it is now available to us. While some scholars accept the texts of the Hymn as more or less accurate transmissions of Cædmon's original, others argue that they originated as a back-translation from Bede's Latin, and that there is no surviving witness to the original text.
- IV-VI - переход от античности к средним векам (476 - императора убили, падение Рима) V - X/XI - распад цивилизации, темные века, раннее средневековьеXI-XIII - высокое средневековье. Это культура христианская, отрицая языческое отношение к миру, тем не менее, сохранила осн достижения античной культуры. Средневековая литература носит религиозный характер, преобл произведения, построенные на библейских мифах, посвященные Богу, жития святых, их пишут на лат языке. Светская литература выступает не отражением действительности, а воплощением идеальных представлений о человеке, типизацией его жизни.Основная черта - героический эпос, лирика, романы. Поэты создавали поэмы о военных подвигах и делах феодалов. в средневек культуре прослеживается постоянное стремление к самосовершенствованию и избавлению от греховности. Чем древнее - тем подлиннее - вот кредо связи нового и старого в духовной жизни. Новаторство считали проявлением гордыни, отступление от архетипа рассматривалось как отдаление от истины. Отсюда анонимность произведений, ограничение свободы творчества рамками теологически нормированного мировоззрения, каноничность.
Особым явлением была рыцарская литература, воспевающая дух войны, вассального служения, поклонения прекрасной даме. Трубадуры говорили о приключениях, любви, победах, эти произведения использовали живой разговорный язык.
Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular Middle English, rather than French or Latin. Chaucer's works are sometimes grouped into first a French period, then an Italian period and finally an English period, with Chaucer being influenced by those countries' literatures in turn. Chaucer is best known as the writer of The Canterbury Tales, which is a collection of stories told by fictional pilgrims on the road to the cathedral at Canterbury; these tales would help to shape English literature.The Canterbury Tales contrasts with other literature of the period in the naturalism of its narrative, the variety of stories the pilgrims tell and the varied characters who are engaged in the pilgrimage. Many of the stories narrated by the pilgrims seem to fit their individual characters and social standing, although some of the stories seem ill-fitting to their narrators, perhaps as a result of the incomplete state of the work. Chaucer drew on real life for his cast of pilgrims: the innkeeper shares the name of a contemporary keeper of an inn in Southwark, and real-life identities for the Wife of Bath, the Merchant, the Man of Law and the Student have been suggested. The many jobs that Chaucer held in medieval societypage, soldier, messenger, valet, bureaucrat, foreman and administratorprobably exposed him to many of the types of people he depicted in the Tales. He was able to shape their speech and satirise their manners in what was to become