English literature is chronically divided into 3 periods:
1.) Old English Literature (OEL) – till the 9/10th century
- Anglo-Saxon literature
- Stories spread in oral way. English people didn’t have written language, only later in 6/7 centuries the written Anglo-Saxon language appeared on bases of Latin
- The first English literary document written with unknown author – genre: medieval epos – The Song of Beowulf – first English book written in 7. Century is difficult to readed for English people
- Symbol of the good Beowulf was one Danish warrior decided to help people to killed sea-monster Grendel, symbol of the evil, who killed many Danish people. The Beowulf killed Grendel, but the fire hit him and he has to many burns and died too – something is real and something is vision
- Idea: sometimes is not so like to win about evil
2.) Middle English Literature (MEL) – 10/11th century to 15th century
- Anglo-Norman literature - started after 1066 when Norman brought their culture – French influence
- They brought new genre: romances – written and sunk by trouwers. They were about love, knights, which have to fight for love to lovely young women
- Story about Tristan and Isolde
- GEOFFREY CHAUCER – most known English poet, before William Shakespeare, who lived in 14th century
- He is called father of English poetry and he was example for Shakespeare. He wrote for entertainment. He was diplomat and page to the court working in different countries.
- His best-known work is first printed book by William Caxton in 1485 are Canterbury tales: Canterbury is seat of archbishops. It is pilgrim place because there was assassinated Thomas Beckett, English archbishop. This act shocked all people because he was something.
- Chaucer as the first author decided to wrote something about society – “a vivid picture of English society of 14th century” – said critics
- Canterbury Tales is collection of 60 tales, which said 30 different people (innkeeper, lawyer, clerk, ploughman, fish man, knight, student, carpenter, servant) from different classes. They are pilgrims decided to go from London to Canterbury to pay a tribute to the shrine of Thomas Becket. Everyone must say one story on the way there and back too.
- At the end – time of darkness everything was censured by king and churches
3.) Modern English Literature – 15th century – today
- New development of culture influence of “New Learning” (humanisms) – humanist idea was spread when Greek (antic) literature come back
- First humanist philosopher was THOMAS MORE – English representant of humanisms
- He wrote Utopia (1516) – two parts: In first part is describe English society (contemporary society) and in the second part describe ideal society in ideal state (no poor or rich people). There the products had to be distributed equally. There people work only 6 hours per day, in the free time should study and have time for entertainment
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564 – 1616)
- He lives in 16th – 17th century
- Surname Shakespeare is only nickname consist of shake (mixovať) and spear (kópia)
- Nobody known his real name – in many theories Shakespeare is a group of people, no one man – nobody brought a proof
- Shakespeare’s work reflected the society: basic question about human right or who is right and where is the justice
- The right is where the order is. When the order is violated human is violated too.
- Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” is 2nd question, very often question, from Hamlet or what to do to be right
1.) 1590 – 1600 – Early period – period of optimistic comedies
- The Comedy of Errors
- The Taming of the Shrew
- Two Gentleman of Verona
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Merry Wives of Windsor
- Much A Do About Nothing
- The Merchant of Venice
- As You Like It
- Twelfth Night
- He started to write historical plays: The Life and Death of Julius Caesar
2.) 1601 – 1608 - Pick of his Tragedies
- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
- Othello, the Moor of Venice
- King Lear
- The Tragedy of Macbeth
- Measure for Measure
- Troillus and Cressida
- All’s Well That Ends Well
- The main idea is struggle between humanist and puritan ideas because Shakespeare was against for puritan ideas – no philosopher, no darkness
3.) 1609 – 1612(6) – Nothing new is written
- Time of reflections – nothing special
- Couldn’t find anything new
- Those dramas are called lyrical dramas, which reflected the life of English people, life of the court
- Divorced dramas was written
- Winter’s Tale – source for musician composers (Verdi, Prokophiev)
- Written to entertainment people – they don’t have deep philosophical ideas
- If there is some problem, everything is at the end clear up
- Not to educated people, just for entertainment
Twelfth Night – story with 4 main characters: Cesario = Violet, Sebastien, Olivia, Orsino
- Sebastien and Violet are tweens. Their sheep break and Violet was taken to Illyria, the imaginary country.
- Olivia was in unhappy love with Orsino. When Violet entered in place in man’s clothes, because here can’t be women, became messenger between Orsino and Olivia. She fall in love with Orsino, but she couldn’t show hers feelings.
- Another plot was that Olivia falled in love with Cesario (Violet). Sebastien entered in palace to find sister and he fall in love with Olivia. They got married because she wanted to avoid the merigge with Orsino. Orsino was ready to married Violet
- At the end Violet saw, that she is woman
Romeo and Juliet – The story comes originally from Italy where the two noble families of Verona – the Montague’s and the Capulets. They have disputes and fights whenever they meet.
- The main characters are: Romeo Montague, Julia Capulet, Mercutio and Benvolio – friends of Hamlet, Tybalt – nephew of Lady Capulet, Count Paris and Friar Lawrence.
- At the feast of the Capulets Romeo see his Rosaline. It was dangerous for a Montague to be seen in this company, but Benvolio persuaded Hamlet to go here in the mask. Hamlet was a faithful lover, but Rosaline never returned his love and so Benvolio showing him some others ladies. They began dancing and the great beauty of a young lady struck Romeo. Her beauty showed by night like a rich jewel. It was beauty too rich for use, too dear for earth. She was like a white bird and perfections shine above all other ladies. Tybalt, having a quick and angry temper, couldn’t bear that a Montague should come under cover a mask at their feast. He ready to strike Romeo death but his uncle, lord Capulet, wouldn’t let him do any harm at that time because Romeo had behaved like a gentleman. When the dancing was finished, masked Romeo went up to Julia, gently taking her by the hand and he was a humble pilgrim, he said and would kiss it to repair the wrong. When the lady was called away to her mother, Romeo discovered that the lady whose perfect beauty had pleased him was young Juliet and that he had given his heart to a member of that family, the great enemy of the Montague’s. At midnight, Romeo left the feast with his companions, but later he climbed into a garden, which was at the back of Juliet’s house.
- Tybalt wanted to revenge Romeo for coming to the feast. He killed Mercuric. Romeo to revenge his death and killed Tybald. Then he must left Verona but before he secretly married Juliet by Friar Lawrence.
- Juliet’s mother wonted to merry Juliet with count Paris. She went to Friar and asked him for the help. To escape the marriage of Juliet and Romeo, he gave Juliet a potion, which enables her pretend death. Friar will send a letter to Romeo, that Juliet will awake 42 hours after drinking the potion. All people think, that she is dead and Romeo too, because he didn’t get letter for intrigs.
- Romeo buys a potion. He kills Paris in a duel in the churchyard and thinking that Juliet is dead, he poisons himself. After awaking, Juliet finds Romeo dead and therefore she took his sword and stab by Romeo´s sword.
- Romeo and Juliet is story about sincerely loved, which couldn’t lives in world of intrigues and full of enemies. Their death was useless.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
English literature: William Shakespeare
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