British literature

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: Dievča apfel
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 03.11.2008
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 769 slov
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Tlačení: 475
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The oldest literature monument of the Anglo-Saxon period is an old Germanic legend about Beowulf from the 8th century. This heroic poem is about a strong hero Beowulf.

During the middle Ages, Roman Catholic Church was strongly criticised by John Wyclef a professor of Oxford University. He translated the whole Bible into English with his student. The end of the Mid-dle Ages and the beginning of Renaissance in literature is marked by Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. It´s a portrait of pilgrims who travel to Canterbury and each tells 4 stories. In this way we are given a picture of the 14th century society.

In the 1476 William Caxton introduced printing in England which helped spread literature and philo-sophy. The middleages philosophy was under theological influence, while the Renaissance philosop-hy turned to antique philosophy and formed new philosophical learning - humanism. It went hand in hand with interests in education and social reforms. Sir Thomas More wrote the Utopia, a vision of imaginary island with perfectly organized society.

The greatest personality of English renaissance is William Shakespeare. Between his master pieces belong Hamlet, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Henry VI or Romeo and Juliet. It is tragedy about love between two young people - Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montec. Their families live in Verona and they don´t like together and so they don´t grudge them. Julie likes Romeo in so far, that she pretences, that she makes suicide, but Romeo sees that and makes suicide real.

In 18th century novels and drama developed very much. It bore on the development of the society, economy and journalism. Literature became popular among the middle class and first authors were from these circles. Jonathan Swift was a sharp critic. He was a dean in Dublin. He wrote satirical pamphlets on all unfair events in British society, but his most popular work is Gulliver´s Travels. Daniel Defoe was a politician, traveller and journalist. His most famous work is Robinson Crusoe. Robinson, shipwrecked on island, represents the qualities which middle class needed in capitalist competition to be suc-cessful. Henry Fielding was a journalist and lawyer. He wrote a realistic novel Tom Jones, History of a Foundling. There are many characters through which Fielding describes the life in the 18th century.

Characteristic topics for Romanticism are: historical topics, love country, nature, detail, description of weather… We can divide writers in this era to two groups. First are "Lake Poets". To this group belong William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They wrote about nature, mood and lyrical balads. They lived in Lake District. Second group are George Gordon Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats. To this group belongs Sir Walter Scott. He is founder of historical novel. He wrote Ivanhoe - old legend.

Victorian age produced great novels critizing various evils of prosperous, but imperialisctic society. Best author of this era is Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights and Charotte Bronte - Jane Eyre. Charles Dickens descibed truly life of poor people. He combines comic and serios situation. He wrote Little Dorit, The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist.

Thomas Hardy together with D. H. Lawrence represents the naturalistic trend in first half of  20th century. He understands hard life of common people. D. H. Lawrence was the son of miner so he knew crulty and humiliation of the working people. This was shown in many novels such as Sons and Lovers. In Lady Chatterley´s Lover he analyzes sexuals relations between a man and a woman. Oscar Wilde is biggest representant of this era. He founded the aesthetic cult in London. He wrote Picture of Dorian Gray. Rudyard Kypling was awarded as first British writer. He wrotes stories about India and The Jungle Book. John Galsworthy was a critical novelist. He described the decay of the Victorian upper middle class in Forsyte Saga. James Joyce together with Marcel Proust and Franz Kafka mark the turning point in modern novel. Joyce, born in Dublin, wrote an experimental prose Dubliners. The most famous representant of this era is G. B. Shaw. He attacked the whole society. In his plays he cri-tizes the false morals of the society. In second half of 20th century rolled in group of writers, which ha-ted social system. They called Angry Young men. To this group belong Kinglsley Amis and his Lucky Jim and John Braine with Room at the Top. Nowadays we speak about experimental writing. This represents William Goldwing and his Lord of the Flies and George Orwell and Animal Farm. In this time is very popular J. R. R. Tolkien with Lord of the Rings or Irvin Welsh and his Trainspotting.
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