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Early Modern English
Transcript of Early Modern English
History of the English Language
Grammar & Spelling
The Elizabethan era was an important time in history for the fine arts. Queen Elizabeth encouraged and supported the arts significantly more so than any other king or queen.
Angles and Vikings!
The Vikings are attacking the Angle kingdom of Mercia! Defend by answering questions correctly and prevent them from raiding the castle!
600AD - 900AD
900 - 1300
1476 - 1650
1337 - 1450
400AD - 600AD
50BC - 400AD
Christianity and Vikings
Christian missionaries visited the British Isles and converted many Anglo-Saxons from their Pagan beliefs to Christianity
As the main language of Christianity at the time was Latin, this introduced many new words such as altar, spider and rose
Vikings set their sights on Britain; make various incursions and eventually end up settling in some parts
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Wessex rises above the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and England begins to emerge
Vikings attempt to take over Wessex but are pushed back to the north-east where they remained in peace with the English
Normans, Vikings who settled in northern France, invaded England on multiple occasions
The Normans conquered England in 1066
As a result, English culture and language was greatly influenced by the Normans
For the next 300 years, French became the language of the wealthy and noble, being used in all official documents and literature. Latin continued to be the language of the church, and English remained the everyday language for the general population
The 100 Years War
Tensions between England and France rose, which culminated in the 100 Years War
France became the enemy, and so brought with it a negative connotation for the French language
English became increasingly used by nobles and aristocrats, eventually phasing out French entirely
Additionally, the Black Death killed many working class citizens which increased the demand for laborers and also made their language more important
A period of intellectual growth
Many thousands of books were printed and were much cheaper than before
Literacy rates rose
Set rules began to emerge for the English language as printers needed to work on common ground
Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era during this time (1558 - 1603)
Celts and Romans
The Celts were the earliest group to inhabit the British Isles, as well as most of western Europe
Didn't have a big influence on the English language
Romans conquered the British Isles in around 50AD
Retained control until around 400AD
Roman Empire began its fall after being sacked by the Visigoths and Rome pulls out of the area
The Germanic Tribes
The Angles, Saxons and Jutes were the main West Germanic tribes to invade the British Isles
Their dialects formed the basis of what's known as 'Old English'
About 1/3 of the Anglo-Saxon vocabulary survives into English today; words such as earth, house, food and sleep
They pushed the Celts to the marginal areas of the Isles, such as Ireland, Wales and Scotland
Angles and Saxons eventually form kingdoms Northumbia, Mercia and Wessex
Different forms of the same letter
V was used at the front of a word
ie. 'vnmoued' and 'loue'
Also different forms of the same letter
i was used at the front of words
ie. 'ioy' and 'iust'
The short s was used only at the end of words, the long s 'ſ' everywhere else
Two alternate forms of the letter 'S'
A silent 'e' was often added on the end of words ie. 'ſpeake'
I, Ich Me My/Mine Mine
Thou Thee Thy/Thine Thine
Him/Her/It His/Hers/His His/Hers/His
We Us Our Ours
Ye/You You Your Yours
They Them Their Theirs
- th -eth
Third person singular conjugation
eg. Arthur hateth her?
Arthur hates her?
- st -est
Second person singular conjugation
eg. Why dost thou stay?
Why do you stay?
Vikings must run up the stairs one by one to reach a treasure stash and take a token
The higher the stash is, the more it's worth
The Angles must line up in front of the lectern to answer questions
Each time a question is answered correctly, the viking running must drop the token and come back down and the next viking can immediately go
If an Angle answers a question incorrectly, they must go to the end of the line and let the next attempt to answer
The winning team will get a prize!
Arguably the greatest and most famous writer in history
Wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets
Completely changed the formula of the sonnet, bringing about the English Sonnet with the rhyming scheme a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g
Due to the flexibility of the English language at the time, Shakespeare created many new words, some of which we still use today
Early plays tended to be comedies and histories, sticking to the writing conventions at the time
Later on, Shakespeare began to write tragedies which were his most famous plays
As he mastered blank verse, he went on to experiment with his writing style, using run-on sentences, extreme variation in sentence structure, and irregular pauses and stops.
The original tragedy writer of the Elizabethan era
Greatly influenced Shakespeare's later works
His plays were very successful
Had a mysterious and sudden stabbing death at age 29, many rumors surround this mystery
Some say that if he had not died so soon, he could have been able to rival Shakespeare, possibly even surpass him
Some of his most famous plays include: The Jew of Malta, Edward the Second and The Massacre at Paris
Popular and highly acclaimed comedy and satire dramatist
He was a very controversial man, which showed in his plays
Often attacked other play-writes and poets in his works in a comedic or satirical manner
Most famous work was 'Every Man in His Humour', a comedy in which each character is the embodiment of one of the four humours
A play with anti-Scottish sentiment landed him in jail for a period of time