History of English Literature

English Literature is a realm of knowledge, delight, innocence,growing awareness and spokesmen of Man and his changing behaviour, ideologies and conceptions throughout the ages.Being a lover of English Literature, Here I had like to introduce you all to genesis and growth of it.

1. Old English Period ( 450 -1066)

   This age was the earliest to be recognised as a genesis of human ideologies and beliefs to be passed on to generations.It was the beginning of the development of a culture and religion.This period was dominated by Greek Tragedies such as Iliad by Homer, Oedipus by Sophocles and Medea by Euripides.Writers from Roman Empire as such as Virgil, Horace and Ovid had become popular by this time.It is also known as Anglo-Saxon Period.

2 .Middle English Period (1066-1500)

 This period had brought the invention of Printing Press and Revolutionising of Literary theories and Journals and newspapers.It was ruled by Dante, Chaucer and Petrarch and Italian Writers.Sonnets were most popular forms of Literary theories.It was a period when English was considered a low standard language to be used in Literature.

3 .The Renaissance (1500-1660)

      The Renaissance is the most revolutionary and remarkable age in a literary era. It encompasses Elizabethan Age, Jacobian Age, milleniumCaroline Age and Common Wealth Period.This age gave us the millennium, Father of English Literature, William Shakespeare.Other well-known personalities of the age were Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Donne, Edmund Spencer, Andrew Marvell, John Milton and  Henry Vaughan.

4. Neo -Classical Age

It encompasses The Restoration, Augustan Age and Colonial Literature.Main Writers of the Age were Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope , Samuel Johnson, Rousseau and Jonathan Edwards.

5 .The Romantic Period.

This age is a shift towards common man, nature and humanity.It had escapist nature and Hellenic approach.Main proponents being William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron , Shelley and Lord Tennyson.

6.The Modern Period

The modernistic views and disbelief in God , Shifting away from religion and lost the purpose of humanity is Modernism.Man becomes lost, all his actions become fruitless.Life seems to be an aimless, absurd and meaningless.Main elements being – T.S Eliot, Robert Frost and William Faulkner.Albert Camus brought forth the theory of Life and Its Absurdity through absurd literature.

7.Post – Modernism
This era continues to exist.It has many revolutionary ideas , The age believes incomplete revelation.They reveal deepest of secrets like masturbation, sexual desire, desire to suicide and infatuation with the father.The Colour Purple, Love Medicine, The catcher in the Rye being few of them.


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