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English Lit History

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Joel Laveborn

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of English Lit History

Past to Present
English Literary History
Old English Poems
Middle English Literature
Early Modern Literature
Genre Fiction
Modern Literature

Old English
Main Points
~ years 450-1153 C.E.

The first known works of English literature were written in Old English; which today is gibberish to most of us.

A great example of this is Beowulf, an epic poem about a Swedish fellow, believe it or not.
Middle English
~year 1154-1485 C.E.

This is where things get recognizable, bible translations set a new standard for the English language

First instances of Robin Hood and St George and the Dragon (Medieval Drama)
Early Modern English
Where things get interesting
Genre Fiction
Genre fiction started during the 19th century, a lot of writers started to work with themes like ghosts, vampires and such but this was also the time of the first detective stories.
So what is a genre?
Beowulf - Swedish hardcore dragon slayer
The End
There is a lot to talk about when it comes to the early modern English literature: the renaissance, the Elizabethan era, the Jacobean era and so on and so forth...

... as an English teacher I will do what most Engelish teachers do
Talk about Shakespeare!
Why is he so bloody popular?!
Frailty thy name is woman
A foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man!
Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island and many, many more
BAM! (Biography/Autobiography/Memoirs)
Narrative Nonfiction
Realistic fiction
Science Fiction
Historical Fiction
Traditional Literature
Modern Literature
The modern literature is simply the literature that has come after the set eras, roughly from the early 20th century.

The modern literature is not easily defined as it comes in a huge variety of styles and genres
Denmark is plagued by the monster Graendal
Beowulf agrees to help the wussy Danes
Beowulf kills the monster...
... then kills its mum...
... and proceeds to slay a dragon, just for fun...
... and dies
A lot of people cringe when they hear about Shakespeare and his words... all those "thine" and "thou" and "hither" and "prithee".
A lot of them were insults. There's even a page dedicated to the complete works of Shakespeare and all their insults; http://www.insults.net/html/shakespeare/hamlet.html
But it is because of those words that he became so famous!
Shakespeare invented a whole lot of new words, about 2000!
Shakespeare's Hamlet
Shakespeare's Hamlet is basically a story where everyone dies.
Most early works were either comedies or tragedies.
Hamlet is the prince of Denmark and in feud with Norwegian prince Fortinbras.
The story is base for the many quotes such as "to be or not to be, that is the question..."
Poe's The black cat - 1842
His stories are often very dark and gruesome, detailing murder and maniacal protagonists.
Poe is said to be the father of modern detective stories.
The black cat is about a man plunging into madness because of severe alcoholism.
Vonnegut's 2br02b - 1962
2br02b bears its name from the aforementioned Hamlet quote.
Vonnegut is an American author famous for his sci-fi short stories
The story takes its place in the future where USA is described as a utopia. There are no diseases and old age has been cured. However, population is strictly controlled so you cannot give birth without taking lives.
Full transcript