A History of English Literature - download pdf or read online

By Edward Albert

ISBN-10: 0245532471

ISBN-13: 9780245532474

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In the case of Malory, who comes some time after the others, we have quite an individual style. It is still unadorned; but it has a distinction of phrase and a decided romantic flavour that make Malory a prose stylist of a high class. His prose is, indeed, quite distinct from that of his predecessors, and exerts little influence on the writers who follow. 49 CHAPTER IV FROM CHAUCER TO SPENSER THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (1450-1550) The dates that appear at the head of this section are only approximate, but the general features of the time are well defined.

The influence was French, but romance was thoroughly acclimatized, and, as the period progresses, examples appear in greater numbers. Attention has already been drawn to the varied metre of this type, and something must be said of the other chief features. The story is usually long, with many intricacies of plot; above all the emphasis is on incident; martial exploits play a large part and are often made ridiculous (for the modern reader) by heaping battle on battle, exploit on exploit, so that the hero becomes a superman; the element of the supernatural is often introduced, again sometimes with ridiculous effect; characters are often of a type, though in the best examples characterization is excellent; the style is often simple and direct but with a lack of artistic finish, though again the best examples must be absolved from such strictures.

His metre, usually 56 version of Swerers; and A Joyfull Medytacyon. Of all the poets now under discussion Hawes is the most uninspired; his allegorical methods are of the crudest; but he is not entirely without his poetical moments. His Passetyme of Pleasure probably influenced the allegory of Spenser. )-1552) might have been either a Scotsman or an Englishman for all that is known on the subject. He was a priest in Devonshire, and later withdrew to a monastery in Ely. His important poem, the Ship of Fools, a translation of a German work by Sebastian Brant, represents a newer type of allegory.

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A History of English Literature by Edward Albert

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