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English Literature (intimately)
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||10 200|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||35.2|
|Priemerná známka:||2.94||Rýchle čítanie:||58m 40s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||88m 0s|
With extraordinary artistry the stories are made to characterise their tellers.
In the 15th century a number of poets were obviously influenced by Chaucer but, in general, medieval literary themes and styles were exhausted during this period. Sir Thomas Malory stands out for his great work, Le morte d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur, 1469-1470), which carried on the tradition of Arthurian romance, from French sources, in English prose of remarkable vividness and vitality. He loosely tied together stories of various Knights of the Round Table, but most memorably of Arthur himself, of Galahad, and of the guilty love of Lancelot and Arthur's queen, Guinevere. Despite the great variety of incident and the complications of plot in his work, the dominant theme is the need to sacrifice individual desire for the sake of national unity and religious salvation, the latter of which is envisioned in terms of the dreamlike but intense mystical symbolism of the Holy Grail.
A golden age of English literature commenced in 1485 and lasted until 1660. Malory's Le morte d'Arthur was among the first works to be printed by William Caxton, who introduced the printing press to England in 1476. From that time on, readership was vastly multiplied. The growth of the middle class, the continuing development of trade, the new character and thoroughness of education for laypeople and not only clergy, the centralisation of power and of much intellectual life in the court of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, and the widening horizons of exploration gave a fundamental new impetus and direction to literature. The new literature nevertheless did not fully flourish until the last 20 years of the 1500s, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Literary development in the earlier part of the 16th century was weakened by the diversion of intellectual energies to the polemics of the religious struggle between the Roman Catholic church and the Church of England, a product of the Reformation.
The English part in the European movement known as humanism also belongs to this time. Humanism encouraged greater care in the study of the literature of classical antiquity and reformed education in such a way as to make literary expression of paramount importance for the cultured person. Literary style, in part modelled on that of the ancients, soon became a self-conscious preoccupation of English poets and prose writers. Thus, the richness and metaphorical profusion of style at the end of the century indirectly owed much to the educational force of this movement.